The passion for gambling is reaching new heights across the globe, and Denmark is no exception. Sites like casinohex.dk, are setting new records in the number of monthly visits, while online casinos pop up here, there and everywhere. Yet, there are still plenty of potential players wondering if online gaming is legal in the Land of Hans Christian Andersen.
Regulation, State Monopoly and Offshore Brands
All kinds of gambling in Denmark are regulated by Spillemyndigheden, an authority in charge of putting the Gambling Act into practice. The current situation is not looking very bright for online casinos willing to gain a Danish licence, as there is essentially a local lottery monopoly in power. Furthermore, licensed online casinos may offer only roulette, baccarat, punto banco, blackjack, poker, bingo, and slot machines.
But if the licence is close to impossible to obtain, what happens with all the offshore brands, operating on the Danish market? It is crucial to understand that the Danish Gambling Act doesn’t prohibit wagering with unlicensed casinos. Still, there’s a catch.
A player can easily sign up and play with an offshore brand. Yet, that particular brand may not have a gaming site in Denmark with Danish language or customer support in Danish, nor may it deliver kinds of bets that might be of interest to Danish customers. For instance, the operator is not allowed to provide odds on sports events involving Danish teams, leagues, etc., or provide slot machines inspired by Danish TV shows. Additionally, the operator must never support gambling payments methods reserved exclusively for the gambling market, accept payments in Danish Krone, advertise in Danish media and in the Danish language, or directly target Danish customers in any way.
Sounds pretty reasonable, indeed. Even so, plenty of online casino brands have ended up blocked, and the same faith awaits many other companies that fail to comply.
Close to 100 Sites Blocked in a Month
Despite the seemingly liberal market, Spillemyndigheden still prosecutes and bans plenty of casino sites each year. In September 2022, the authority blacklisted 82 gamings sites, which is the highest number since 2012. Spillemyndigheden has no public list of blacklisted websites, which makes the entire ordeal somewhat transparent.
And it is not only casino companies that feel the power of Spillemyndigheden’s righteous anger. Sometimes, it is aimed at customers. The regulator reserves the right to block any payments to unauthorized websites. Although this right has never been used at the time of this writing, it is only a matter of time before Spillemyndigheden wields its hammer in that direction.
Pressing Hard On Advertising Sites
Sites that advertise nationally licensed gambling operators are also obliged to follow a strict set of rules in order to run casino ads. Every single ad that appears must contain age limits, and warnings about the risks involved, as well as never use celebrities to endorse the gaming sites. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
And although all this sounds rather obnoxious, Spillemyndigheden still has a high level of tolerance. It understands the concept of the global market, and the existence of sites open to Danish customers, as long as they are not directly targeting them. Currently, the promotion of unlicensed operators carries minimal risks as no fines are imposed on advertising, as long as the operators adhere to rules. And let’s hope it stays that way.
Oscar Lois Jorgensen