The annual accounts are prepared in compliance with the provisions of the Norwegian Accounting Act and good accounting practice, with the modifications necessitated by the unique nature of Norsk Tipping as set out in the Norwegian Gaming Act of 28 August 1992. Norsk Tipping AS’s activities are subject to the provisions of the Gaming Act, which states that a publicly owned limited company shall act as a gaming company. The Ministry of Culture determines the company’s articles of association, appoints the Board and issues instructions to the Board. The Board is charged with ensuring that the company is operated in line with its objectives and guidelines. The Board is responsible for adequate organisation and management of the company, which includes ensuring that matters including registration and asset management are subject to satisfactory control. The articles of association set out the Ministry of Culture’s right to issue instructions outside the ambit of ordinary governance through the general meeting.
Norsk Tipping’s subsidiaries are of no relevance when assessing the Group’s financial position or performance. For this reason, and pursuant to section 3-8 of the Accounting Act, consolidated accounts are not prepared.
Use of estimates
The senior management team has used estimates and assumptions that have influenced the income statement and the valuation of assets and liabilities. Service life assumptions first and foremost affect valuations of fixed assets and intangible assets and the associated depreciation. Valuations have also been made of any unsecured assets and liabilities on the balance sheet date in connection with closure of the annual accounts in line with good accounting practice. The senior management team is unaware of any material uncertainty associated with the accounts and capitalised assets.
Transactions in foreign currencies are translated based on the exchange rate on the date of the transaction. Monetary items in foreign currencies are translated to Norwegian kroner using the exchange rate on the balance sheet date. Changes in exchange rates are recognised in the income statement on a continuous basis under other financial items.
Operating revenue, prizes, and commissions
The term ‘gaming revenue’ refers to the gross stakes risked by players. In the case of gaming terminals (Belago and Multix) and online gaming, players will normally play multiple times during a single gaming session and reuse any prizes as stakes. For accounting purposes, each individual game, involving a stake followed by a draw with possible payment of a prize, is regarded as a separate transaction regardless of the number of gaming sessions.
The recognition of gaming revenue and related prizes and commissions in the accounts does not fully correspond with the calendar year rather it is adjusted to conform to the subdivision of the year into numbered weeks. In 2019, gaming-related revenue and expenses were from 52 gaming periods/weeks. Gaming stakes and the associated anticipated prizes for multi-week games are accrued for each of the relevant gaming periods/weeks. Commissions are distributed on the same basis.
Revenue from other sales is recognised once delivery has taken place and most of the risk and return has been transferred.
The company is exempt from tax.
Classification and valuation of balance sheet items
Current assets and current liabilities include items that fall due for payment within one year of the date of acquisition, as well as items linked to goods circulation. Other items are classified as non-current assets/non-current liabilities. Current assets are valued at the lower of acquisition cost and fair value. Current liabilities are capitalised at their nominal value on the date they are incurred. Non-current assets are valued at acquisition cost, less depreciation, and write-downs. Non-current liabilities are capitalised at their nominal value on the date they are incurred.
Research and development
The company complies with the exemption rule set out in the provisions of section 5-6 of the Accounting Act when recognising expenses related to basic research and development. The company’s activities in this area are very limited. Intangible assets developed in-house are treated as fixed assets.
Fixed assets and intangible assets
Fixed assets are capitalised and depreciated on a straight-line basis over their expected service life. Direct maintenance of fixed assets is expensed on an ongoing basis as operating expenses, while upgrades or improvements are capitalised and depreciated over the expected service life. If the fair value of an asset is less than its book value, the asset is written down to its fair value. The fair value is the higher of net sales value and utility value. The term ‘utility value’ is understood to mean the net present value of future cash flows that the asset is expected to generate, either directly or as a prerequisite for the company’s other cash flow items.
The company’s development activities involving its own development of software, gaming concepts, distribution channels and systems are valued in line with Norwegian Accounting Standard 19 – Intangible assets. Development activities that meet the criteria are capitalised and depreciated over their expected service life.
Subsidiaries and associated companies are valued using the cost method in the company’s accounts. Investments are valued at the shares’ acquisition cost unless a write-down has been deemed necessary. Investments are written down to fair value when the reasons behind a fall in value cannot be assumed to be temporary in nature and good accounting practice necessitates it. Write-downs are reversed when the basis for the write-down no longer exists. Dividends, group contributions and other disbursements from subsidiaries and affiliated companies are recognised as income in the same year they are approved by the companies’ general meetings.
The company’s stocks are limited. Stocks are valued at the lower of acquisition cost and fair value. Acquisition cost is calculated using the FIFO method and includes expenses incurred from the procurement of the goods, and expenses linked to bringing goods to their present location and up to their current condition.
Sales agent receivables, trade receivables and other receivables are recognised on the balance sheet at their nominal value less provisions for expected losses. Provisions for losses are made on the basis of individual valuations of the individual receivables. An unspecified provision is also made to cover expected losses on other trade receivables.
The company has defined benefit pension plans that are valued at the present value of their future pension benefits which, for accounting purposes, are regarded as earned on the balance sheet date. Pension assets are valued at fair value. Changes to defined benefit pension liabilities resulting from changes to pension plans are distributed over the estimated average remaining accrual period. The company uses the corridor method to recognise the effects of pension assumptions. The cumulative effect of changes in estimates and financial and actuarial assumptions (actuarial gains and losses) equal to less than 10 per cent of the greater of pension liabilities and pension assets at the start of the year are not included. If, at the start of the year, the cumulative effect exceeds 10 per cent, the excess amount is recognised over the estimated average remaining accrual period. Net pension expenses for the period are classified as payroll and personnel expenses.
Statement of cash flow
The cash flow statement is prepared using the indirect method. Cash and cash equivalents include cash, bank deposits and other short-term, liquid investments.
Value Added Tax
Norsk Tipping AS’s ordinary activities are exempt from value added tax pursuant to section 5(b), paragraph one no. 6, of the Value Added Tax Act. As a general rule, expenses and investments are inclusive of VAT.
Events after the balance sheet date
Since the accounts were approved by the Board on 5 March 2020 there has been an outbreak of coronavirus in Norway. As a consequence of this, the company chose to produce new annual accounts with the corrected distribution of the annual result.
The company has taken the necessary measures to ensure operations and protect the company’s assets. The outbreak has no consequences for accounting valuations of other accounting items.