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Betting in Denmark

Published on: 30/11/2015

Denmark joined the EU European Union in 1973. With regards to its gambling industry, bookies from abroad and independent Danish betting organisations are not permitted to trade in the country. The Danish Gambling Authority (DGA) regulates all state gambling activities and a national organisation called Dansk Spil runs the monopoly.

Dansk Spil single-handedly controls thousands of venues and sportsbooks for the Danes to enjoy. Lottery and sports games are made available in shops, which include Dansk Spil products and also cafes. Many of these gambling venues are run by a popular franchise known as PitStop.

In Denmark, there are eight horserace tracks plus a dog racing track called the Royal Canine Arena, the country also facilitates a casino cruise ship named Pearl Sideways. Many large gambling establishments can be found throughout the nation including comprehensive casinos such as the Casino Copenhagen.

Denmark runs a Socialist economy and its government-run gambling industry is based on a non-profit model. Money spent on gambling in the country reached over 10 billion kroner or 1.5 billion by the year 2008. The nation’s net revenues were reported to be approximately 2.8 billion kroner, and over half of this amount was directed to charities and youth initiatives.

However, the EU is of the opinion that Danish Sportsbooks are based on making gains on gambling and that EU betting organisations should be able to participate. The well-known betting company Ladbrokes made a proposal to allow Danish punters to use their website but encountered legal barriers from the Danish authorities who rejected the idea. As a result, Ladbrokes countersued.

The Danish Law Courts concluded that Dank Spils’ methods did indeed take a non-profit approach. The company continues to be the only organisation to offer gambling services online and the EU has stated that it will endeavour to challenge the monopoly by all means necessary.

Eventually, pressure from the EU brought an end to the monopoly and sportsbooks from abroad were be permitted to promote and offer betting products throughout the country, excluding lottery games.

However, the amended laws in Denmark continued to be bias towards local gambling companies, and licences from operations not completely land based in Denmark were withheld. This meant that well known Sportsbooks would have to create exclusive shops and services to obtain the required licence to operate in Denmark. In 2011, the Denmark Gambling Association relaxed the laws further allowing licensed casino website owners to run certain aspects of their business from servers outside of the country. This move was seen as another step toward liberalization of the market for foreign gambling companies.

Many Sportsbooks such as Ladbrokes, Unibet, 888 Sport and Bet365 manage online gambling sites from abroad and welcome Danish punters, with many offering Danish language content.

There are now at least 2000 betting web sites accepting bets from Danish residents using a range of payment methods including Visa. MasterCard, NETeller, eWire and Money bookers. Accepted denominations include the Denmark Krone and the Euro.