The Danish Ministry of Taxation formed the Danish Gambling Authority to oversee Denmark’s 7 brick and mortar casinos back in the year 2000. In addition to the land-based casinos, they also oversaw Danske Spil, which was the country's sole lottery and betting company.
As of January 2013, the Danish Gambling Authority (DGA) gained its independence and has its own Director and nearly 100 staff located across Odense, Copenhagen and Jutland.
The DGA also grants licences to both online betting operators and online casino operators. Their online casino licence includes online and mobile device access to roulette, blackjack, baccarat, punto banco, poker, and gambling on gaming machines.
Furthermore, it also includes other games, which have elements of both skill and chance (so-called combination games) like backgammon, whist, and guessing competitions. They have a public list of approved online casino operators available at Spillemyndigheden.dk for anyone interested in checking the legitimacy of a potential casino they wish to sign up at.
In order to obtain an online gambling licence from the DGA, one needs to complete a thorough vetting and application process for both the business and the individuals involved in the casino business. The non-refundable application fees are approximately €38,000 but are discounted if a dual betting and casino licence is applied for.
With clearly defined parameters of what gambling is, the DGA does allow for non-licensed gambling activities to be enjoyed under certain conditions. The following types of games and gambling enjoy direct exemption as a point of law:
- Land-based tournament backgammon
- Bank premium bond accounts
- Premium bonds
- Betting on the future value of financial assets
- Gambling for small amounts of money in private homes
They also only consider a game to be considered licence-worthy if it contains a financial stake, pays out a prize that has financial value and is a game of chance. This means the following game variants can be provided without needing a gambling licence:
- Gambling without a stake where there is the chance of winning a prize.
- Gambling with a stake but without the chance of winning a prize.
- Gambling that has both a stake and a prize, but there is no element of chance, e.g. games of skill such as chess, quiz, the bridge with duplicated cards, sporting events, video games and others.
This mature approach to gambling allows the Danish Gambling Authority to clearly manage and derive revenue from real gambling activities while not placing undue pressure or restrictions on casual and fun play events, which are often used by non-profits to raise funds or awareness of a cause.
Once an operator has received an online betting or gambling licence, the DGA fee structure is fairly simple. There is an annualised licence fee of which ranges from €8000 up to nearly €700,000 based on the class of licence that the casino holds.
The operator also owes the Authority 20% of their monthly Gross Gaming Revenue. However, negatives in one month may not be offset against positive revenues in another. These fees are far more agreeable than the 41% of GGR paid by licenced Danish land-based casinos.
In terms of poker and other games where the operator takes a commission on the play, the fee is 20% of the commission charged, calculated per calendar month.
Benefits of Operator
The primary benefit of any potential online casino operator is legal access to a market that is burgeoning! The online casino market has seen a nearly 18% year-on-year growth, according to analysts, with 61% of that revenue coming from slots. By obtaining DGA approval, operators are allowed to legally advertise both online and in offline publications, not to mention above the line opportunities which present themselves.
Online sports betting in Denmark has likewise been experiencing incredible growth and development over the past few years, making it the second strongest performing gambling niche in the region.
Benefits to Players
Joining an online or mobile casino that has the full backing of the Danish Gambling Authority ensures that you have the peace of mind of knowing that, in case of any disputes, you will have access to legal resources in your own country.
The DGA also enforces the processing of financial transactions through local financial instruments, meaning there are no issues with hidden fees and currency conversions.
The DGA also requires that all online casino bonuses and promotions are marketed in a “clear and lucid manner within the immediate context of the offer”. This means that the offer you see is the offer you get with no hidden clauses that will rob you of your money or enjoying top casino entertainment.
The Danish Gambling Authority is also committed to Responsible Gambling and player self-exclusion. The Stop Playing site is a professional helpline for anyone feeling that they are losing the battle to compulsive gambling.
The DGA also runs ROFUS, a voluntary permanent exclusion list that promises to be 100% confidential. However, once you are on this list, you cannot be removed from it, and you will be banned from all online and land-based casinos for life.
Top Licensed Casinos
With a gambling authority that seems to have found a balance between monetising online gambling while protecting the interests of its people, it should come as no surprise that the Danish market is booming.
Here are some of the top brands that have been DGA approved:
Casumo: Bringing smiles to faces and big wins to both desktops and mobile devices since 2012. Casumo casino's energy might be playful, but they are serious about providing quality casino entertainment.
LeoVegas: This brand is the king of the online casino jungle, renowned for service excellence, fantastic games and hot bonuses!
Mr Green: This fancy chap is always ready to provide world-class casino entertainment, try it for yourself, and you’ll love the experience.
DrueckGlueck: You’ll enjoy the best in fun, fair and rewarding gambling. DrueckGlueck is a fantastic casino that offers games from top suppliers like Netent, Yggdrasil, Play’n GO and many more.
PlayOJO: This brand prides itself on offering no-frills gambling entertainment. From tasty promotions to helpful casino support, PlayOJO can easily become your new must-play casino.
These casinos have proven themselves to offer fair play, local support, local financial transactions and secure online gambling for Danish players!
The Danish Gambling Authority is by and large one of the more evenly balanced gaming authorities with fair yet lucrative fees, ensuring that online gambling remains a viable revenue stream for the region while also allowing the operators to show their shareholders the margins they want.
They also ensure that the Danish gambling community is protected through initiatives like ROFUS and legislation, which means that casinos are transparent and fair in their daily dealings with players.