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Danish gambling activity levels off in 2019

| By Robert Fletcher
Denmark’s regulator Spillemyndigheden has reported the first year-on-year drop in average weekly gambling consumption since the country opened its regulated igaming market in 2012.

Players over the age of 18 spent on average DKK40.4 (£4.90/€5.43/$6.37) each on all forms of gambling during 2019, down from DKK40.7 in the previous year, according to new figures released by the regulator.

The regulator calculates average weekly gambling consumption by deducting any winnings from the amount spent on gambling by players.

Consumption had grown each year since 2012, but the slight decline last year led Spillemyndigheden to suggest that the market could be starting to level out, after its initial expansion from the legalisation of igaming.

“It is interesting that for the first time in six years we see a decrease in the average gaming consumption in Denmark,” Spillemyndigheden acting director Jan Madsen said.

“However, it’s still too early to say whether it is a development that will continue in the longer term.”

Players spent the most on lottery games in 2019, with an average weekly spend of DKK13.2, followed by sports betting on DKK10.4 and then online casino with DKK9.7, with consumers favouring slot machines in the latter category.

However, physical gaming machines proved less popular, with players spending an average of DKK5.7 on the terminals, while consumers spent just DKK1.4 each across the country’ eight licensed casinos.

This comes after the regulator this week also revealed Denmark has the second-highest online gambling participation rate in Europe, with new figures showing it is one of just three countries where the majority of gross gaming revenue comes from internet channels.

Some 53.1%  – or DKK5.2bn – of all gambling revenue in Denmark comes from igaming, ranking it second to Sweden (59%) of all 18 European markets assessed by the regulator.

Meanwhile, Spillemyndigheden has published a reminder of its regulations for bingo and banko games, having identified a number of operators offering these games without the relevant approval.

Bingo and banko are classed as lottery games under the Danish Gaming Act, with the regulator warning any games requiring consumers to pay money to enter and potentially win a prize will be considered to fall under this category.

Associations that want to offer these games on either a non-profit or charitable basis must seek the permission of Spillemyndigheden, though some exceptions do apply.

These include instances were only members and their relatives can take part in the game, the maximum value of a win does not exceed DKK5,000, the entrance fee is no more than DKK1,000, and the sole purpose of the association running the game must not be primarily to hold non-profit lotteries.

“This means that it is a prerequisite for fulfilling the conditions that only the members of the association and their relatives are allowed to participate in the event and all profits from games go to non-profit purposes,” the regulator said.

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