Gambling is one of the most popular pass times in Denmark. Many active age groups engage daily in different gambling activities across the country. All these operations involving any form of gambling are under the Danish Gambling Authority. The DGA is the main organization in charge of issuing gambling licenses and overseeing this industry. The DGA operated under the Ministry of Taxation.
Despite Denmark being under the European Economic Area of the larger EU, it has its laws in regards to gambling. It’s a priority of any operator who wants to venture into the Danish Market to learn the rules and regulations. Any individual operator who wishes to provide gambling operations in Denmark must learn the Gambling Legislation.
The DGA id the only authority permitted to issue operating licenses to companies that provide gambling or internet casinos. To better understand what gambling activities require a license form the DGA, it’s outlined the following:
- Any game that requires players to play a stake for participation. The stake can be in the form of money or have a monetary value.
- Any game that players receive winnings after participating in it and paying a stake.
- A game that has an element characterized as random and has the two outlines above.
These three are the main determinants and must be met in full before a license is issued by the DGA. If one or two is missing then there isn’t a need to get an official license. Each license issued to an operator comes with a set of conditions that must be followed. One common attachment to most licenses is a regulation of the games provided especially in online casinos.
Facts and Figures of the Danish Gambling Market
- Total Gross Gambling Revenue (GGR) as of 1stJanuary 2019 DKK 9.7 billion
- Each Gambling sector shares in the Gross Gambling Revenue: 22% Online Casinos, 34% Lotteries, 26% Betting, and 14% Gaming Machines.
- By the end of 2018, 54.5% of the GGR came from online gambling.
- Online Market GGR has grown from 2017 to 2018 by DKK 657 million. In the pattern, there was a decrease in land-based gambling by DKK 87 million.
- Mobile devices gambling accounted for 52.4% of the total GGR from online betting and casino operators.
- Gambling on mobile devices had a growth of DKK 96 million while on computers it was DKK 37 million.
- 2018 GGR from charity lotteries was DKK 271.1 million. It accounted for 3% of the gambling market in Denmark
- Danish online gambling in 2018 accounted for GGR of DKK 2,158 million which made up 22% of the Danish Gambling Market.
It is worth noting that in the spirit of responsible gambling, Denmark has a self-exclusion registry known as ROFUS. It stands for Register of Self-Excluded Gamblers. Here as of 2018, there were 17355 self-registered gamblers. The self-registry is run by the Danish Gambling Authority. Many who register on it have a variety of issues from addiction to compulsive gambling especially in online casinos.
Any gambler is permitted to register themselves online through online casinos or other gambling platforms. All operators that have a Danish license must have a provision of ROFUS on their websites. The exclusion can be temporary or permanent as per the gambler’s preference.
The number of self-excluded gamblers on the registry shot up by 35% from 2017. Of those who registered, 69% did so as permanently excluded from any gambling activities. As of 1st January 2019, 4165 women and 13193 men signed up on the online registry.
Players who prefer to play at unlicensed casinos find alternatives by Googling ‘spil uden om Rofus’ or ‘casino uden dansk licens’. Though, so-called ‘grey’ casino market in Denmark is relatively small and the situation is under control of Spillemyndigheden.dk.
Rules and Regulations in the Danish Gambling Market
To obtain a license, under the Danish Gambling Act, there are requirements each operator must meet. Failure to do so has their application rejected. Every operator that provides gambling activities in Denmark whether land-based or online needs an official license. Only the DGA can issue this license. Some operators seek to offer various games under different companies. Despite these companies being under one operator, each must acquire an individual operating license.
Every operator uses the license to provide accepted gambling activities in Denmark. Certain obligation and rights befall each company with a Danish gambling license:
- In charge of all players registration
- All data involving gambling including player information is owned by the operator
- All games provided are the responsibility of the operator and includes all risks and management.
- It’s the responsibility of the operator to support all players
- Rights to intellectual properties of games are owned by the company
- All online platforms under the company are owned wholly by them
- Each operator must adhere to accepted and responsible marketing activities.
Operators are permitted to subcontract some of the responsibilities but this is subject to analysis by the DGA. They get to determine what is acceptable and what is not. However, the majority of these responsibilities must lie with the license holder. A subcontractor can be an internal or an external supplier. Using a subcontractor is not illegal as it doesn’t go against the delegation of rights. The license holder has to ensure the subcontractor provides services in line with what the license stipulates.
In Denmark, gambling companies are permitted to apply for 5 different types of licenses:
- Betting License lasting 5 years.
- Online Casino license lasting 5 years
- An Income Restricted License. It lasts for one year with an expected GGR of up to DKK 1 million.
- An online Casino Income Restricted License lasting one year. It has a similar GGR of DKK 1 million.
- One year Turn-Over Restricted License for Manager Games’ operators with a GGR of 5 million. Here the RTP (Return to Player Rate) must be less than 20%.
To successfully apply for a gambling license, every operator has requirements they must meet in full. These requirements are split into objective and subjective.
Online Casinos in Denmark
Denmark welcomes offshore operators that want to be part of the Danish gambling market. They must be vetted and meet all application requirements as per the law. The games accepted from these platforms are Blackjack, Roulette, Online bingo, Poker, Gaming machines, Punto Banco among others. Lotteries are not included under online casinos. The gambling Act covers online casinos, but they must adhere to certain conditions:
- Payment of a stake by players in the form of money or item that has monetary value.
- Games played include Blackjack, Roulette, Online bingo, Poker, Gaming machines, Punto Banco
- Players make a payment in the hopes of winning a set prize.
Every online casino that seeks to be part of the Danish gambling market must apply for an official license. The main license lasts up to 5 years. The operator must pay a fee of DKK 285800 when they submit a completed application form. The operators that wish to provide both online casino and betting pay a total fee of DKK 401000.
An official license is only issued to those applicants that grant the DGA access to their data warehouse. This way the DGA can constantly transfer relevant information in data form. The data is then saved in the form of a Security System Tamper Token.
Online casinos are permitted to operate in Denmark and makeup 22% of the Gross Gambling Revenue. More Danish players are switching from land-based gambling establishments to online ones. It means in a few years, the online platform including online casinos will be the main Gross Gambling Revenue contributor in the country.