Spillemyndigheden slot machine inspections lead to 255 police reports

| By Robert Fletcher
Danish gambling regulator Spillemyndigheden has revealed more than 4,000 inspections of slot machines during the period between 2019 and 202 led to 255 police reports.
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Spillemyndigheden continuously monitors approximately 23,000 slot machines in retail sites across the country with the aim of flagging illegal activity in the land-based market.

In 2001, the regulator carried out 1,511 basic inspections of venues, which was significantly more than 683 in 2020, with activity limited due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic leading to the temporary closure of many retail locations. Some 1,829 inspections took place in 2019 prior to the pandemic.

From these inspections, 255 cases were reported to the police, 46 of which were from 2021, 83 in 2020 and 126 in 2019. 

These reports take place when a provider breaches certain rules such as allowing consumers under the age of 18 to play slot machines, there are no staff in the gaming hall or games not covered by the operator’s licence were being offered.

The approximate 300 operators that run retail slot machines in Denmark are required to pay a fee of DKK678 (£77/€91/$96) for each terminal, as of 2022. The provider is responsible for reporting to the regulator how many machines it runs and how much they should pay in fees. 

Fees are paid to the Spillemyndigheden, with operators also having to pay tax at a rate of 41% of gross gaming revenue to the Danish Tax Agency. If gross gaming income exceeds a certain amount limit, there is also a surcharge of 30%.

Danish law states restaurants and pubs may only have three slot machines at any time, with only gaming halls permitted to run in excess of three terminals. The 23,000 slot machines currently operational in Denmark are spread across 983 gaming halls and 1,277 restaurants.

In February, it was revealed that Danish non-lottery gross gambling revenue came to DKK6.2bn in 2021, a 3.5% increase driven mostly by growth in online casino.

Sports betting came to DKK2.4bn, showing a 5.2% increase since 2020. This is thanks to it being the first 12-month period since Covid-19 restrictions that there was a full calendar of sports.

Online casino experienced the steepest incline, totalling DKK2.8bn, as compared to DKK2.4bn in 2020. This was a rise of 16.7%.

Slot machines and land-based casino saw a decline, with a notable drop of 22.4% in revenue. Due to restrictions related to coronavirus, many slot halls were working at 50% capacity, with only every other slot machine in operation.

Land-based casino saw a 6.9% decline with total revenue of DKK236m. From January to May, land-based casino saw no revenue due to Covid -19 restrictions.

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