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Danish igaming participation rate second-highest in Europe

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Denmark has the second-highest online gambling participation rate in Europe, as new figures from regulator Spillemyndigheden show it is one of just three countries where the majority of gross gaming revenue comes from internet channels.

Of 18 European markets assessed by the regulator, only Sweden (59%), saw a higher percentage of online play than Denmark, where 53.1% of revenue – or DKK5.2bn (£633.5m/€698.5m/$826m) – came from online in 2019

The countries measured were the 15 members of the European Union prior to enlargement in 2004, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. Norway was third as the only other country where the majority of revenue was from online gaming, while Great Britain followed with 45%.

In addition, the regulator said that a greater proportion of Danes who do play online do so on a mobile device rather than on a computer.

The portion of online revenue that comes from mobile devices grew by five percentage points year-on-year to 61%, after only 11% of revenue came from mobile devices in 2012.

This means that DKK3.17bn, or 32.3% of Danish gambling revenue, came from mobile play in 2019.

That year is also the second in which online gaming has made up more than half of the overall Danish gaming market. It also represents an increase from 2018, when online’s DKK5.0bn in revenue made up 51.5% of the market.

Since 2012, online gaming’s gross revenue and market share has grown year-on-year every year. This trend appears set to continue with the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic limiting the land-based sector in 2020.

The regulator said the growth of online gaming has helped the Danish gaming market as a whole grow by 25.6% since 2012 to DKK9.8bn, although overall gaming revenue was stable from 2018 to 2019 as land-based revenue declined from DKK4.7bn to DKK4.5bn.

In 2012, the first year the Danish online gaming market opened up, players spent just DKK2.4bn online, representing 30.8% of the overall Danish gaming market.

Last month, Spillemyndigheden announced that Andres Dorph, previously deputy director of the Danish Immigration Service, will take over as the regulator’s new director on 1 November. Dorph replaces Morten Niels Jakobsen, who stepped down from the role in August in order to become director of land value assessor the Danish Valuation Agency. 

Earlier this month, Denmark’s state-run operator Danske Spil began to roll out new player ID cards, which will effectively shift all land-based sports betting organised by the state-owned operator to account-based play. Players must show the card in order to place a bet at a retail location.

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