Like many European countries, Denmark's progress toward a competitive online gaming market was slowed by the presence of a state-owned gambling monopoly. For years, Danske Spil, in operation since 1948, controlled both land-based and online gaming in Denmark. The Danish government controls 80% of Danske Spil. When Denmark moved to open the online gaming marketplace in 2012, Danske Spil retained its monopoly over lottery, bingo, keno, and a range of card and arcade games.
Denmark began its move toward liberalization in 2008 when Danske Spil's monopoly was challenged by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). After the challenge, the Danish government began the long process of creating a licensing and regulatory system that would open the online gaming market to other companies.
In June 2010, the Danish Parliament adopted legislation to open up the online gaming market. The law was challenged by land-based gaming companies on the premise that online gaming companies were being taxed at a lower rate than land-based operators. Danish tax requirements under the new law would tax land-based gaming revenues (in total) at rates between 45% and 75% of gross revenues. Meanwhile, online operators would be taxed 48% (in total – 20% GGR and 28% corporate tax).
The European Commission eventually ruled the two tax rates permissible, and Denmark's liberalization plan moved forward.
Danish gambling laws provide a structured system for the licensing and regulation of online gambling operations. Other gambling groups wanting to establish online gambling sites in Denmark must meet certain requirements. Operators must have an office that is physically located in Denmark and must have a reporting system in place that complies with Danish tax rules. The application fee is €36,000 per license, with a dual license application fee of €51,000 and an annual licensing fee ranging from €7,000 to €200,000, based on gross win. Unlike Italy, Spain, and France, poker operators in Denmark are able to run their rooms with international liquidity, providing a better playing experience.
Danish authorities require ISPs to comply with blocking requests for unlicensed sites after a formal court injunction from a Danish judge.
In May 2011, the Danish Gambling Authority (DGA) revised its stance on a key regulatory provision for online foreign operators. The revised clause states, "In special cases, the Danish Gambling Authority may allow part of the licensee's gambling system to be located in a country that is not covered by a bilateral supervision agreement in accordance with subsection 2 if supervision by the Danish Gambling Authority of this part of the gambling system can be conducted in a satisfactory manner." This allows for the DGA to determine that parts of the online gaming service provided by Denmark do not have to be located within Denmark. That places Denmark squarely within the norm of European jurisdictions – most of which don't require online gaming servers to be in-country to be licensed.
In July 2011, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission and the Danish Gambling Authority entered into a bilateral cooperation agreement. The cooperation agreement establishes a "formal basis for cooperation and information sharing between the authorities."
In January 2013, the Danish Gambling Authority evaluated the performance of the online gaming licenses issued for their initial one-year period. Based on the review, it has extended the online gaming licenses to five years, affecting five local and 20 foreign gaming operators. The Authority also issued to nine smaller operators income-restricted licenses that limit gross gambling revenue to 1 million DK – approximately £100,000.
In May 2015, Denmark received approval from the European Commission to make several modifications to its online gambling legislation, including full regulation of daily fantasy sports. The proposed new regulations would impose an increased licensing fee on operators that generate revenue of more than €13.4 million.
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Spillemyndigheden (Danish Gambling Authority)
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Denmark Jurisdiction News
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EveryMatrix applies for Danish betting license
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Danish online gaming taxes approved
Denmark's lower rate of online gambling tax approved by EU.
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WSOP champ Eastgate can't escape the taxman
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Unibet welcomes end of Danish gambling monopoly
Unibet welcomes the news that the Danish Tax Minister's plan to end the country's monopoly on gambling and sports betting.
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Online Poker Pro Scandinavia, a new magazine devoted exclusively to Internet poker, is now the largest poker publication in Scandinavia.
EU targeting France, Greece, Sweden over sports gambling
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EU Commission acts to remove sports betting obstacles in Denmark, Finland and Hungary
The European Commission has requested that Denmark, Finland and Hungary change their laws to allow open competition in the sports betting market.
EU pushes for open betting market
International News Brief: The European Commission will step up legal action against four countries in a bid to open the betting market across the 27-nation European Union.
Titan Poker now available in Danish, Finnish
Titan Poker, one of the fastest growing online poker rooms, has launched its popular poker software in Danish and Finnish.
Small Town Poker Tour Adds Events
The Small Town Poker Tour announces that in addition to Denmark, they are planning events in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Estonia.
Small Town Poker Tour Goes to Denmark
The producers of the USA television show and world's largest amateur poker tour, the Small Town Poker Tour, have announced they will be visiting Denmark.