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Gambling on unlicensed sites fuelled by higher bonuses, says Danish study

| By Marese O'Hagan
Those who deliberately gamble on unlicensed sites in Denmark are fuelled by higher repayment and bonuses, as well as the different types of games on offer, according to a new study.

Contrastingly, participants cited control and supervision, credibility and availability of the Danish language as reasons for gambling with licensed sites.

The Danish study was based on an online survey, which was created by the country’s regulator Spillemyndigheden in collaboration with Statistics Denmark. The target group were Danish citizens aged 15 or older on 1 October 2022 and resulted in a net sample total of 30,070 people.

The study found that 21.7% of Danish players in the sample pool gambled online for money in the last year. This corresponds to an estimated 1,082,000 Danish people.

Of those who played online within the previous 12 months, 2.1% said they had knowingly played on unlicensed sites.

This number rises to 3.8% when accounting for those playing on sites that do not have permission to offer gambling in Denmark, equating to 41,000 people. The study states that, in this instance, more than half of these players did this knowingly.

A total of 8.6% of players are unaware whether the sites they played on are licensed.

Last year, following a complaint from the regulator, Copenhagen City Court blocked 49 sites for offering illegal gambling in Denmark. The sites mainly offered casino games, including roulette, poker and slots.

Of those who have played both on sites that have permission and sites that do not, 61.7% mostly played with the legal offerings. A total of 19.1% said they mostly used the illegal sites and 19.2% said they played equally between both types.

Of those who played on sites that do not have permission to offer gambling in Denmark, 43.4% said they played online casino. A total of 34.2% said they used the sites for skin betting. Skin betting is prohibited in Denmark, so any play is automatically considered illegal.

Of this same pool, 25.7% said they played on these sites due to higher bonuses. However, most – 36.9% – said it’s because they are able to play games that are not offered by legal entities.

Operators that do not have the appropriate permissions cannot market themselves to Danish players. In November, Spillemyndigheden issued DKK100,000 in fines to an individual that advertised illegal games on two websites.

When asked how they found the illegal offerings, 68.2% of the relevant participants said they searched the internet themselves. A total of 66.3% said they found the sites through videos and streaming – for example, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat.

In August 2023, a Twitch streamer was fined DKK10,000 by Spillemyndigheden for advertising gambling without the necessary permissions.

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