Online gambling in Denmark has now overtaken brick and mortar gambling to take the majority of the market according to the Danish Gambling Authority (DGA), also called Spillemyndigheden. The DGA has released its annual report for 2017 showing the online sector now pulls down 51.5% of total gambling revenue in the country of 5.7 million people, up from 47.4% in 2016.
The Danes are known for being active people, and it seems mobile online casino gambling is fitting nicely with their lifestyle. Gambling on mobile devices outpaced desktop gambling to increase to 54.5% of all online gambling activity, up from 46.7% at the beginning of 2017.
Total gambling revenue for 2017 came in at roughly $964 million with lotteries pulling in the lion’s share of total revenues, followed by online casinos at $290 million, gambling machines at $239 million and land-based casinos lagging far behind at $60 million.
Gross gaming revenue from lotteries, the largest single component in the overall Danish gaming market accounting for 33.6% of total gambling revenues, showed a combined gross draw of $498 million, remaining essentially unchanged year-on-year.
In terms of games breakdown, the recent report from the DGA showed that Danes prefer slots above all other game types, with online slots revenue accounting for 61.5% of total gambling revenue, followed by roulette, coming in at 11.3% of total online gambling revenue, blackjack at 10.4%, other games including craps and specialty games at 9.5% and poker games coming in last at 7.3% of total gambling revenue.
According to the DGA report, “Total GGR (Gross Gaming Revenue) for the Danish gambling sector has grown each year since 2014…. it can be seen that the total gambling market grew by 371 million kroner ($59.6 million), or 4.2 percent, between 2016 and 2017. However, growth in total GGR for the gambling market is solely due to higher GGR in the markets for betting and online casinos. The strength of the legal markets for betting and online casinos since liberalization explains why the lottery sector is decreasing proportionately.”
Calls for tighter regulation of bonuses
The ascent of online gambling in Denmark has given rise to other concerns as well, with lawmakers on both sides of the isle, the Danish People’s Party and the Social Democrats, both calling for regulation of online casino bonuses.
Online casino bonuses in Denmark have been extreme, in terms of luring new players to the market, with some operators offering up to $1,600 in matching funds to acquire market share.
Speaking to the Danish media, MP Jesper Petersen of the Social Democrats has called for bonuses to be capped at $160 and betting requirements such as playthrough and maximum cash out to also be more clearly defined he said.
While both the governing party and the opposition agree on the need to limit bonuses, the far-left leaning Socialist People’s Party has gone so far as to call for a complete ban on online casino bonuses.
This approach, however, has been met with concern that such extreme action, i.e. the complete elimination of all casino welcome bonuses, might lead to a rise in unlicensed operators from abroad targeting Danish players.
According to figures released by the DGA, a sum total of 24 operators were blocked from accessing the Danish market due to lack of proper licenses. 2017 saw a total of 27 licenses online casinos operating in Denmark and 15 licenses sports betting sites.
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