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Danish gambling revenue declines by 9.3% in 2020

| By Robin Harrison
Denmark’s regulated gambling revenue fell 9.3% below prior year levels in 2020, though the fourth quarter included record returns from sports betting, according to the latest figures from Spillemyndigheden.
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Revenue for the year declined to DKK5.96bn (£704.2m/€801.8m/$971.8m), with land-based gaming affected by nationwide lockdowns from March to June, then again from November 2020 due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 

Sports betting, meanwhile, also had to deal with an almost complete global shut-down of all sporting events from March. 

As the only vertical unaffected by lockdown measures or sporting cancellations, online casino posted year-on-year growth in revenue. 

However, the 5.0% year-on-year rise in revenue to DKK2.45bn was the lowest increase for online casino since the Danish igaming market opened for business in 2012. 

In terms of products, online slots contributed DKK1.82bn, or 74.4% of the vertical’s total. Roulette followed in a distant second on DKK231.9m (9.5%), with blackjack in third on DKK166.6m (6.8%).

All other verticals reported year-on-year declines.

Sports betting revenue finished the year 8.5% behind 2019, at DKK2.50bn. This, however included a record quarterly total for the three months to 31 December.

Sports betting revenue grew 16.6% to DKK724m in Q4, thanks to a later start to the European football season and a packed schedule. 

Over the year, there were only marginal changes in customers’ preferred channel for betting. DKK1.18bn – or 51.5% of revenue – was generated via mobile sportsbooks, with a further DKK771.4m (33.7%) coming from retail outlets. Just DKK338.5m (14.8%) came from betting sites online.

Compared to 2019, this suggests that while mobile’s market share has grown, it has been at the expense of desktop sites. Meanwhile, despite the Covid-19 lockdowns, there was actually marginal growth in retail betting’s share. 

The biggest declines were seen in the core land-based products: slots and brick-and-mortar casino. Slot revenue was down 29.0% at DKK986m, while casino revenue dropped 31.5% to DKK239m. 

Unlike sports betting, neither of these offerings could mitigate the November lockdown, which is unlikely to be lifted before 28 February, with an online offering. 

This meant that revenue from both slots and casino fell sequentially in Q4, having shown signs of recovering from Q2’s first national lockdown in their third quarter figures. 

The country’s national self-exclusion database Register Over Frivilligt Udelukkede Spillere (Rofus), had 25,176 individuals signed up as of October 2020, the most recent figures available. 

Of this number, 16,918 people had permanently blocked access to all gambling products. The remaining 8,258 people had temporarily blocked gambling, for between one and six months.