Gambling business in Denmark

denmarkGambling in Denmark is allowed both in physical establishments and on online sites. The Danish gambling market has been nationalized and controlled by a specially created body – the Danish Gambling Authority. This is a division of the Danish Ministry of Justice that issues licenses and regulates the work of gambling companies.

Since 1948, all areas of the gambling industry have been monopolized. The services were offered by the state-owned company Danske Spil. The legal framework in the gambling business was revised in 1990. Private firms were able to engage in legal supply of gambling services at land-based points and online.

According to the Danish Gambling Authority report for 2016, the gross income from the entire gambling market was 8,850 million DKK (1,259.42 million USD). Of these, 3,739 million DKK (539 million USD) were received from online casinos and bets.

Features of regulation of the gambling business in Denmark

Gambling in Denmark is considered to be the type of entertainment that falls under the description:

  • the outcome of the game is determined randomly;
  • requires betting;
  • a participant can receive a reward through payouts at rates.

In accordance with the specified criteria, the Danish Gambling Authority identifies the following gambling games:

  • slot machines;
  • lotteries;
  • poker;
  • rates.

Services are provided in land-based casinos, gambling halls, drinking establishments and betting points. Also, the game for money is available online.

With regard to poker, there are additional acts that distinguish between gambling poker in casinos (with individuals) and sports poker. Sports poker competitions do not require a license and are conducted in accordance with the Poker Act. For this, the tournament must be public and held in a specific place with the condition of the physical presence of the participants. Despite the fact that players pursue economic benefits, poker tournaments are not considered gambling and are classified as sports.

Gambling regulators and gambling laws

The gambling market in Denmark is regulated by a special body – the Danish Gambling Authority, a division of the Ministry of Justice. The Department operates under the Danish Gambling Authority Order and the Act on Gambling.

The activities of companies providing gambling services are regulated by law. The main document regulating the work of gambling establishments is Act on Gambling. The act applies to all areas of the gambling business, except for poker championships.

In addition to the main act, a number of orders are provided. Orders are developed for different areas of gambling separately:

  1. lotteries are governed by Executive order on non-profit lotteries and Executive order on reimbursement rates for certain games;
  2. sports betting is controlled by the Executive order on land-based betting and Annex 1, Executive order on the provision of online betting and Annex 1 and Executive order on reimbursement rates for certain games;
  3. playing on machines is regulated by the Executive order on gaming machines in arcades and restaurants;
  4. online casino activities are regulated by the Executive order on online casino and Annex 1 – online casino application;
  5. the organization of gaming in land based casinos is subject to the Executive order on land based casinos.

Conditions for obtaining a license in a gambling jurisdiction

To obtain a permit to operate a gambling business in Denmark, you must apply to the Danish Gambling Authority. The Office will consider an application if:

  1. the founders of the company are over 21 years old and have no problems with the law;
  2. the company has a satisfactory business record;
  3. the creation of a company for the provision of gambling services is justified.

In addition, obtaining a license requires financial investments. The license costs from 50 thousand to 1.5 million DKK (7.12-213.5 thousand USD). When organizing the supply of online gambling entertainment, the founders pay a fee for organizing a business platform – 250 thousand DDK (35.5 thousand USD) for an online casino or betting site.

Licensed varieties of gambling

According to a 2016 report by the Danish Gambling Authority, gross gambling revenues were DKK 8,850 million (USD 1,259.42 million). Of them:

  • lotteries – 3,115 million DKK (443.3 million USD);
  • slot machines – 1,499 million DKK (213.3 million USD);
  • rates – 2,175 million DKK (309.5 million USD);
  • online casinos – 1,564 million DKK (222.5 million USD);
  • land-based casinos – 379 million DKK (53.9 million USD);
  • horse racing – 118 million DKK (16.8 million USD).

Online gambling in Denmark

Almost half of the gross income comes from funds from online casinos and bets. With regard to sports betting, data is provided according to which about 64% of all bets are made online. Considering the statistics provided on the Danish Gambling Authority website, online casino users prefer the following games:

  • slot machines – 68-72%;
  • online poker – 9-12%;
  • tape measure – 5-6%;
  • blackjack – 5-6%;
  • other online games – 9-11%.

Considering that the gambling business in Denmark is mostly nationalized, a number of requirements are imposed on online casino sites. Foreign operators of Internet sites who want to provide their services in Denmark must purchase a license and also meet these requirements:

  1. site language – Danish (if the site belongs to a foreign operator, Danish should be on the list);
  2. you can select the Danish currency for transactions;
  3. maintenance is provided for Danish users;
  4. among the payment systems are those that work only in Denmark.

Foreign operators who legally provide their services in Denmark are taxed higher than national operators. Foreign companies pay the government about 20% of the annual profit earned on the Danish gambling market.

The top five online casinos available in Denmark include:

  • Bet365 Casino;
  • Vera & John Casino;
  • ComeOn! Casino;
  • BetMonsters Casino;
  • Dansk777 Casino.

Popular slot machines in Denmark

Gambling users of Danish online casinos prefer modern five-reel slots with various bonuses and gameplay features. However, the classic slot machines with three reels and prize screens are also very popular. Different slots are of interest to different categories of the population. Thus, men over 30 choose classic slot machines, while women and young players choose slot machines with spectacular graphics and additional features: jackpots, free spins and bonus games.

The list of popular slots in Denmark includes:

  • Gemix (Play’n GO);
  • Starburst (NetEnt);
  • Mega Moolah (Microgaming);
  • Random Runner (Greentube);
  • Hong Kong Tower (ELK Studio).

Among the top slots, there are also non-standard games: with unusual visual design, arcade gameplay, and so on. It is worth mentioning Thunderkick’s Well of Wonders – a slot that has no reels, and each subsequent combination that appears in one round plays with an additional multiplier. Also in the list of popular games are Gonzo’s Quest from NetEnt, The Heist – Gamevy, Aztec Treasures – Betsoft.

Gambling software developers

Since the gambling industry is legalized in Denmark, various software developers for land-based and online casinos are based in the country. The most famous companies are:

  • CEGO;
  • Gamblify ApS;
  • Magnet Gaming;
  • SPIGO.

CEGO is a Danish company operating since 2000. To date, the studio’s portfolio includes about 70 gambling applications. The firm develops online slot machines, bingo software and digital table games.

Gamblify ApS is a privately held company that develops hardware and software for the gambling industry. The company’s product lists include slot machine platforms, betting terminals and software solutions for online casinos.

Magnet Gaming is an online slots manufacturer. The company is engaged in the development of cross-platform slot machines, solutions for mobile casinos and applications in the field of social gambling.

SPIGO is a Danish and Maltese licensed company. Develops software solutions for online and mobile casinos, creates slots and software for online bingo.

Prospects for the development of gambling business in Denmark

In the 2016 annual report, the Danish Gambling Authority outlined the immediate goals and prospects for the development of the gambling market. The representatives of the department announced that they will continue to interact with national and foreign operators of gambling entertainment in Denmark. Measures established by law will be taken to prevent the operation of illegal establishments and illegal supply of gambling by foreign operators.

To prevent gambling addiction and create a healthy consumer environment, the Danish Gambling Authority plans to hold a series of educational lectures at schools, universities and sports clubs. The management also calls ROFUS (register of voluntarily excluded players) an important part of gambling addiction regulation. Clients who have registered on the list are blocked from accessing online gambling sites and betting sites – temporarily or permanently.


The gambling business in Denmark is legalized and regulated by law. The main document regulating the work of companies supplying gambling services is the Law on Gambling. The control over the activities of casinos and bookmakers is carried out by the Danish Gambling Authority. The Department of the Ministry of Justice legalizes the work of national operators and actively cooperates with foreign companies, granting Danish licenses to verified firms.

Gambling business in Denmark

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