Danish Gambling Authority (Spillemyndigheden)
All gambling is regulated in Denmark by the Danish Gambling Authority or Spillemyndigheden in Danish. The authority is part of the Danish Ministry of Taxation and was formed in 2000. In its first 10 years, the authority was responsible for administrating gambling arcades, terminals, land-based casinos and the Danske Spil, or national lottery. It also issued licences to charity lotteries and bingo providers. In 2010, the Danish Gaming Act was made. This provided the legal framework for online gambling operations, opening the booming industry to Denmark. In 2013, the Danish Gambling Authority became an independent authority, with its own director. Operators can obtain licences to run online casinos or sportsbook businesses. The only type of gambling that they cannot offer is lotteries (including lotto and scratchcards), as the Danske Spil has a monopoly on these games in Denmark.
History of Gambling in Denmark
Casino Marienlyst is the oldest casino in Denmark. It was opened in 1902 after receiving permission from the then Crown Prince and later King Frederik VIII. Interest in the newly established gambling house grew quickly, and it did not take long for more casinos to open in the country. In 1948, Denmark launched Danske Spil. This state-owned company ran the first national lottery, which is still running today. Gambling remained a state monopoly up until 2012 when the Danish Gambling Act legalised online casinos and opened its doors to foreign operations. Denmark was the first Scandinavian country to open its gambling market to the international scene and presents operators with a lot of flexibility.
Types of Licences
The Danish Gambling Authority offers two types of licences for operators. These are the online betting licence and the online casino licence.
Online Betting Licence
With this licence, operators can create a sportsbook and offer betting markets.
Online Casino Licence
The casino licence gives permission for operators to offer casino games. Blackjack, baccarat, punto banco, poker, roulette and slots are all allowed, but lotto-based games and scratchcards are not.
Application and Cost
To apply for a casino or betting licence, a casino needs to submit application forms and a fixed fee of DKK 304,500, which is around $45,000. If an operator wants to obtain both a betting and casino licence, this fee will be DKK 426,300, or around $60,000. Once the operator has the approval of the Danish Gambling Authority, it will be granted a licence for up to 5 years. The cost of renewing the licence after the fees is DKK 121,800 for a single licence and DKK 152,300 for both licences.
There are a lot of technical requirements that online casinos and bookmakers must adhere to. These include safety precautions, reporting data, a certification programme, and they must offer ROFUS service. The certification programme is basically a framework for testing and inspection from the authority. The ROFUS service is a self-exclusion tool that has to be provided in all licenced casinos and sportsbooks. It offers players the chance to self-exclude for 24 hours, 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months. There is also a request for permanent self-exclusion.
Fees and Taxation
There are also annual fees that must be paid. These depend on the Gross Gaming Revenue, or GGR, of an operation.
- GGR is less than DKK 5,000,000 the fee is DKK 60,900
- GGR is DKK 5,000,000 to DKK 10,000,000 the fee is DKK 152,300
- GGR is DKK 10,000,000 to DKK 25,000,000 the fee is DKK 274,100
- GGR is DKK 25,000,000 to DKK 50,000,000 the fee is DKK 548,100
- GGR is DKK 50,000,000 to DKK 100,000,000 the fee is DKK 974,400
- GGR is DKK 100,000,000 to DKK 200,000,000 the fee is DKK 1,827,000
- GGR is DKK 200,000,000 to DKK 500,000,000 the fee is DKK 3,045,000
- GGR is DKK 500,000,000 or more the fee is DKK 5,481,000
These are the current fees at the time of writing, but they go up each year. The fees are still less than 5% of the GGR which is not much considering how large the profit margin is. Operators also need to pay income tax on their profits. The income tax in Denmark is extremely high; in the gambling sector the tax rate is 28%.
Pros for Players
As a player, seeing the Danish Gambling Authority seal of approval on a casino presents lots of advantages.
Many Top Casinos
On the Danish Gambling Authority's website, you can find plenty of large online casinos and sportsbooks. Companies such as 888, Betfair, LeoVegas and Unibet are amongst some of the most well-known operators who have operations in Denmark.
Fair and Responsible
The tight certification programme that licencees need to comply with make the casinos and sportsbooks reliable. They have to submit lots of data about the fairness of the games, how they handle errors and more. You will always be in safe hands with a Danish-licenced casino or sportsbook. To add to that, there is also the ROFUS service, which lets you self-exclude. This service is mandatory for all licenced companies.
Responsive Customer Service
If you have any dispute then it is very easy to reach out to the Danish Gambling Authority. You can raise complaints against a gambling operator or about advertising and marketing, and they will respond in a timely and professional manner.
Cons for Players
There is no denying that licenced Danish casinos and sportsbooks are fair and safe. However, there are a few limitations that must be kept in mind.
Limitations on Games
It has come up several times in this article, but we have to register here once more as a con. Lotto games and scratchcards are a state monopoly, meaning you will not find them in privately-owned online casinos
Skin Betting and Loot Boxes – Not Covered by Law
Skin betting is basically a wager where the prize is a skin, which can be converted into a prize with monetary value. Loot boxes are also games of chance, where you have to place a stake on what is inside a loot box, which may be a massive prize These types of games are not strictly illegal in Denmark, but they do not fall under the scope of the authority. However, the Danish Gambling Authority has been eyeing these types of games and it probably will not take long before they make laws to regulate them.
Enforcement of Licenced casinos
You may not like what you get with licenced Danish casinos and decide to play in casinos that are not licenced by the state. Well, for Danish citizens this would mean you have to pay income tax on whatever you win. Denmark (in)famously has one of the largest income tax rates in the world, averaging around 45%. Therefore, it is better to avoid non-licenced casinos and stick to state-approved operations – where you pay 0% tax on your winnings.
Operators do not need a physical presence in Denmark to obtain a licence. They can obtain remote licences if they are based in a country in the European Economic Area (EEA), or if there is a representative either in Denmark or in the EEA. This legal representative of a licence holder must gain approval from the Danish Gambling Authority and provide forms containing personal information. This person will then represent the licence holder in all matters, including civil and criminal proceedings.
There are a lot of benefits to having a licence with the Danish Gambling Authority. The presence of many well-known establishments in the Danish gambling industry provides a lot of competition, which is a sign of a healthy and booming economy. Though the taxation on online gambling is high (28%), it is far higher for land-based casinos (45%). With more Danish gamers turning to the world of online gambling, it gives both operators and players bigger and more fruitful opportunities.
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