Gaming in Denmark: overview

Legislative framework of gambling regulation

Legislative framework of gambling regulation

◊ Status: Law stated as at 01-Nov-2016 | Jurisdiction: Denmark

Contents

♦ Legislative framework of gambling regulation
   ◊ Overview
   ◊ Definitions of gambling
   ◊ Regulatory authorities
   ◊ Gambling products
♦ Land-based gambling
   ◊ Regulation/licensing
♦ Online gambling
   ◊ Regulation/licensing
   ◊ B2B and B2C
   ◊ Technical measures
♦ Mobile gambling and interactive gambling
♦ Social gaming
♦ Gambling debts
♦ Tax
♦ Advertising
♦ Developments and reform
   ◊ Legal development
   ◊ Reform
♦ The regulatory authorities
   ◊ The Danish Gambling Authority
   ◊ The Danish Ministry of Taxation
   ◊ The Danish Customs and Tax Administration (SKAT)
♦ Online resources
   ◊ Danish gambling legislation

Overview

images 1. What legislation applies to gambling?

Act no. 119 of 22 January 2016 on gambling (Danish Gambling Act) is the primary source of legislation. Act no. 337 of 7 April 2016 on gambling duties (Danish Gambling Duties Act) also applies.

The Danish Minister of Taxation has issued a number of executive orders that regulate the different types of gambling in more detail.

Part 3 of the Danish Gambling Act sets out the available licences for the following types of gambling:

  • Lotteries.
  • Betting.
  • Betting on horse and dog racing.
  • Local pool betting.
  • Land-based casinos.
  • Online casinos.
  • Gaming machines offering cash winnings in gaming machine arcades and restaurants (that is, slot machines).

The Danish Gambling Act applies to both land-based gambling and online gambling.

Definitions of gambling

images 2. What is the legal definition of gambling in your jurisdiction and what falls within this definition?
General definition

A “game” is defined in the Danish Gambling Act 2016 as any activity that falls within one of the following categories:

  • Lottery. This is where a participant has a chance of winning a prize and where the probability of winning is solely based on chance.
  • Combination game. This is where a participant has a chance of winning a prize and where the probability of winning is based on a combination of skill and chance.
  • Betting. This is where a participant has a chance of winning a prize and where bets are placed on the outcome of a future event or the occurrence of a particular event in the future.

If an activity falls within one of one of these categories it is considered a game. The provision of such activities on the Danish market is considered provision of gambling services.

Online gambling

Online gambling is defined as gambling activities between a player and a gambling operator carried out using remote communication.

Remote communication means communication that takes place without the player and the gambling gambling operator meeting physically. It may include use of the internet, telephone, television, radio, mobile telephone, videotext with a keyboard or touch screen or e-mail.

Gambling services provided in such a way that the parties meet physically in connection with the conclusion of the agreement are not considered to be provided online.

Land-based gambling

Land-based gambling is defined as gambling activities where a player physically meets a gambling operator or its distributor.

Regulatory authorities

images 3. What are the regulatory or governmental bodies that are responsible for supervising gambling?

The Danish gambling market is supervised by the:

  • Danish Gambling Authority.
  • Danish Ministry of Taxation.
  • Danish Consumer Ombudsman.
Danish Gambling Authority

The Danish Gambling Authority sits within the Danish Ministry of Taxation. It is, among others, responsible for the:

  • Administration and granting of licences for betting, land-based casinos and online casinos.
  • Monitoring of the Danish gambling market.

The Danish Gambling Authority has published guidelines in both Danish and English on its website (https://spillemyndigheden.dk/en). Documents published on the website include legal guidelines, technical descriptions, Q&As and newsletters.

The Danish Gambling Authority supervises compliance with:

  • The Danish Gambling Act 2016.
  • Secondary legislation established in accordance with the Danish Gambling Act.
  • The terms of licences.

The Danish Gambling Authority has enforcement powers in relation to matters regulated by the Danish Gambling Act.

Danish Ministry of Taxation

The Danish Customs and Tax Administration (SKAT) is a division of the Danish Ministry of Taxation. SKAT deals with inspections, the registration of licence holders and collection of gambling duties.

SKAT has enforcement powers in relation to matters concerning collection and payment of gambling duties.

The legal department of the Danish Ministry of Taxation deals with legislative issues and handles matters in relation to European regulation.

The Danish Ministry of Taxation has limited the available number of licences for the provision of land-based casinos to seven, all of which have currently been granted (see Question 5, Available licences).

Danish Consumer Ombudsman

The Danish Consumer Ombudsman supervises compliance with the Danish Marketing Practices Act. The Danish Gambling Authority and the Danish Consumer Ombudsman have established an informal co-operation regarding the regulation of gambling marketing.

See box, The regulatory authorities.

Gambling products

images 4. What gambling products have been specifically identified by legislation, and what different requirements have been established for each?
Poker

The Danish Gambling Authority identifies poker as a card game coming in many different forms, the most common being Texas hold’em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud and Five-card draw.

Land-based poker tournaments are not covered by the Danish Gambling Act 2016. They are instead regulated by Act no. 83 of 22 January 2016 on public gambling in the form of a tournament (Poker Act).

A poker tournament can be arranged if all of the following apply (Poker Act):

  • Participation in the poker tournament is accessible to the public.
  • The poker tournament takes place at a pre-determined location at which the participants are situated at the same time.
  • The participants gamble for economic values (that is, both money and prizes).
Betting

A licence to provide betting under Danish Gambling Act is a licence to provide both online and land-based betting. Both “regular” betting (that is, betting at odds set by the provider) and betting exchanges are allowed.

Betting is an activity in which the participants have a chance of winning a prize and where bets are placed on:

  • The outcome of a future event (but not an event which has already taken place). Examples include a football match, a tennis match, a general election or a song competition.
  • The occurrence of a particular event in the future. Examples include whether the next prime minister will be a woman or whether a particular tennis player will win a Grand Slam tournament in the next season.

Betting on races with pigeons, horses and dogs is provided under a monopoly by the state-owned company Danske Spil A/S.

Providing betting on the result of lotteries, or on the outcome of casino games where the probability of winning in the game is solely a matter of chance (for example roulette or gaming machines offering cash winnings), is not permitted.

Specialist types of betting within the definition include:

  • Pool betting. This is where the size of the payout depends on the size of the total stake pool, or where the total payout is divided among the winners of the bet. The size of a player’s winnings depends on how the other players have placed their bets. In cases such as “Tips12”, “Tips13” and “Måljagt” (products offered by Danske Spil A/S), the size of the first prize depends on the total revenue on the game and on the players’ bets. If more than one player correctly predicts the outcome of all matches on the pool’s coupon, the first prize will be divided among each player to do so.Pool betting with fixed odds (that is, where the payout is equal to the stake multiplied by a fixed number) is not allowed. However, in some forms of pool betting, current odds can be calculated which show the size of the possible winnings when a bet is made.
  • Manager games. This is where a player pays an amount to enter the game and then manages a fictional team (for example, a football or handball team). The player earns points in the manager game based on the real life performance of the players chosen to form their team. The manager who has received the most points when the game is over (for example, when a football season is over) wins a prize.
Sports betting

Sports betting is not distinguished from general betting in Danish gambling legislation.

Casino games

Casino games include lotteries and combination games, and include games:

  • Decided purely by chance, including roulette, punto banco, baccarat and gaming machines offering cash winnings.
  • Where the chancing of winning depends to a greater or lesser extent on the player’s skill, such as blackjack and poker.

See below, Combination games.

Slot and other machine gaming

Danish gambling legislation specifically identifies “gaming machines offering cash winnings” as mechanical or electronic machines that may be used for games offering winnings for the player (see above, Casino games).

Terminal-based gaming

Terminal-based gaming is not specifically identified in the Danish gambling legislation.

Bingo

Bingo is not specifically identified in the Danish gambling legislation. It is a type of lottery (see below, Lottery).

Lottery

A lottery is an activity in which the participants have a chance of winning a prize and where the question of whether or not a player wins is determined at random.

In the classic definition of a lottery, the player pays a stake to the gambling operator and chooses or is given a series of numbers. The gambling operator randomly selects a further set of numbers, and comparing these numbers with the numbers held by each player determines whether or not the player wins. Each player’s potential winnings depend on the number of participants in the lottery.

The definition of a lottery in the Danish Gambling Act includes games such as:

  • Lotto.
  • Joker.
  • Class lotteries.
  • Bingo.
  • Scratch games.

In such games, the player cannot affect the outcome of the game by the application of skill or ability. The outcome of the game is entirely determined by chance.

Lotteries are provided under the monopoly of the state-owned company, Danske Spil A/S.

Combination games

A combination game is an activity in which a participant has a chance of winning a prize and where the probability of winning is based on a combination of skill and chance. The definition of combination games covers a number of different types of games including poker, backgammon, blackjack, rubber-bridge, whist and guessing competitions (for example, where the competition is decided by a draw or a similar element of chance, for example, a competition in television to answer one or more questions by text message and where, at the same time, the winner is drawn out from all the persons that have answered correctly).

The relative contribution of skill and chance to the outcome of a game does not determine whether it is classed as a combination game. Any game in which both skill and chance play a part will be so classified.

Land-based gambling

Regulation/licensing

images 5. What is the licensing regime (if any) for land-based gambling?
Available licences

Four types of land-based gambling licences are available:

  • Betting licence. A betting licence covers both land-based and online betting. Both “regular” (that is, betting at odds set by the provider) betting and betting exchanges are covered by betting licences.
  • Licence to provide local pool betting. This licence allows the gambling operator to provide betting on track cycling, dog racing, pigeon racing and horse racing.
  • Licence to provide land-based casinos. This permits the licence holder to provide a mixture of lotteries and combination games such as roulette, punto banco, blackjack, poker, baccarat and gaming machines (for example, slot machines) offering cash winnings. The Danish Ministry of Taxation has limited the available number of licences for the provision of land-based casinos to seven. Seven licences are currently in force, so no further licences may be issued. When one of the existing licences becomes vacant, it will be put out for public tender.
  • Licence to operate gaming machines offering cash winnings in gaming machine arcades and restaurants (slot machines). This licence can be granted to the operators of gaming machine arcades and to restaurants with a licence to serve alcoholic beverages. A maximum of three gaming machines offering cash winnings may be installed in each restaurant. No gambling activities other than gaming machines may be offered in a gaming machine arcade. No business activities other than the provision of gambling on gaming machines offering cash winnings may be carried out on the premises. The stakes must not exceed DKK1 per game. Winnings must not exceed DKK600 per game.
Eligibility

A licence to provide and organise most land-based gambling activities can be granted to either physical or legal persons.

A number of persons cannot apply for a gambling licence (see Question 6, Prohibitions). Any company wishing to provide land-based gambling on the Danish market must be established in Denmark or in another EU or European Economic Area (EEA) country or have an appointed legal representative living in Denmark or in another EU or EEA country. The board and the directors must all meet the requirements for natural persons mentioned above.

A legal representative of a licence holder must be approved by the Danish Gambling Authority and must meet a number of requirements similar to those applicable to the board and the directors.

A licence to provide and organise gambling can only be granted to persons or companies that are not residents of or established in Denmark or another EU or EEA country if the applicant has appointed an approved representative under section 30 of the Danish Gambling Act 2016. The representative can be a physical or a legal person. The role of the representative is to represent the licence holder in all matters. This means that the representative must be legally authorised to represent the licence holder in relation to the authorities and in civil as well as criminal legal proceedings. The representative must fulfil the same requirements as those that apply to all gambling operators established in Denmark or another EU or EEA country (see Question 6, Prohibitions).

A licence to provide local pool betting on track cycling, dog racing and pigeon racing can only be granted to companies that organise those activities and which are members of the relevant sport’s central organisation or association. A licence to provide local pool betting on horse racing can only be issued to associations. The associations which currently hold such licences have done so for a number of years.

Application procedure

Any person or company wishing to apply for a land-based gambling licence in Denmark must submit an application form. An application to provide gaming machines must be accompanied by a form filled out by the managers and personnel of the business.

The application form requires the applicant to provide legal and financial information. The applicant must also designate a number of key persons to be responsible for various areas.

It normally takes three to six months for a licence to be issued from the date the application is received by the Danish Gambling Authority.

Duration of licence and cost

The application fee and annual fees as well as the duration of a licence vary depending on the type of licence. Application fees and fees for the renewal of licences are subject to annual indexation and therefore change each year. Fees are usually a function of the gambling operator’s gross gambling revenue (GGR), which is defined as received stakes minus paid out winnings.

The following fees apply from 1 July 2016:

  • Betting licence. There is an application fee of DKK261,800. The annual fee is divided into classes depending on the operator’s annual GGR. The annual fees vary from DKK52,400 to DKK4,511,500. The latter fee class applies to applicants with an annual GGR of DKK500 billion or more. A betting licence lasts for five years. At the end of this period, the licensee can renew the licence, subject to a licence renewal fee of DKK104,700.
  • Licence to provide local pool betting. The Danish Gambling Authority can grant a local pool betting licence for a period of up to three years, and can specify the number of days within each year on which the licence applies. There are no application or annual fees in relation to local pool betting.
  • Licence to provide land-based casinos. The Danish Gambling Authority will normally grant a licence to provide land-based casino for a period of ten years. The application fee for land-based casinos is currently unknown as all current licences have been occupied for a long time.
  • Licence to and operate gaming machines offering cash winnings in gaming machine arcades and restaurants (slot machines). No application fee is charged, however, there is an fixed annual fee of DKK600 per gaming machine. In addition, the operator must pay a fee to the Danish Gambling Authority for the inspection of new gaming machines when they are installed for the first time. The licence in principle does not have a fixed duration; however, the Danish Gambling Authority will as a main rule issue the first licence for a duration of five years.
images 6. What are the limitations or requirements imposed on land-based gambling operators?
Prohibitions

The following classes of person cannot apply for a gambling licence:

  • Persons under the age of 21 years.
  • Persons under guardianship under section 5 of the Danish Guardianship Act and for whom a surrogate decision-maker has not been designated under section 7 of the Danish Guardianship Act.
  • Persons who have filed for reconstruction, bankruptcy or debt restructuring, or who are under reconstruction, bankruptcy or debt restructuring.
  • Persons who have been convicted of a criminal offence that gives reason to believe that granting the person access to work with gambling presents a clear risk of abuse.
  • Persons who owe an outstanding debt to the public sector.
Restrictions

The limitations and requirements for land-based gambling operators are described in detail in the executive orders relating to the Danish Gambling Act 2016.

Land-based betting is less regulated than online betting:

  • Players do not have to be registered to play.
  • Players do not need player accounts.
  • The operator is not obligated to enable players to set betting limits.

However, when providing betting from a physical shop, the provider must communicate clearly to customers that:

  • Only players above the age of 18 years are allowed to play.
  • Gambling is potentially harmful.
  • Treatment for compulsive gambling is available.

Certain requirements are also imposed on managers of such shops.

The executive order on gaming machines in gaming arcades and restaurants sets out detailed requirements for the technical performance of gaming machines. Operators of gaming machines must comply with regulations regarding, for example, the premises and the staff at the gaming venues.

The Poker Act 2016 contains regulations on the persons or companies providing poker tournaments and restrictions on the number of tournaments that may be held. Permission to provide a poker tournament cannot be used for online poker.

The operation of land-based casinos is regulated in the executive order on land-based casinos. Operators of land-based casinos must comply with requests from players to be self-excluded (banned). If a player requests to be self-excluded, the operator must, among other things:

  • Register the fact that the player has asked to be self-excluded on the Danish Gambling Authority’s register of players who have voluntarily self-excluded themselves from gambling (Register Over Frivilligt Udelukkede Spillere) (ROFUS).
  • Deny the player further access to the casino.

Once a person is registered on ROFUS, all land-based casinos must deny that person access. A player’s self-exclusion lasts for one year (a “cooling off period”). After this period, the player can request to have the registration of their self-exclusion deleted. The registration should automatically be deleted after a period of five years.

All land-based casino operators must take the necessary measures to avoid sending marketing material to persons who have self-excluded themselves.

Anti-money laundering legislation

The management and staff of the land-based casino operator must be especially attentive towards player activities which may be connected to money laundering or financing of terrorism. This duty is particularly relevant in relation to unusually large transactions as well as to certain transactional patterns.

If the operator of a land-based casino suspects that a transaction is connected to money laundering or financing of terrorism, and if the suspicion cannot be disproved following an inspection, the casino must notify the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime.

The land-based casino must have written internal rules concerning the prevention of money laundering and terrorism.

As at 1 October 2016, Directive 2015/849/EU on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing (Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive) has yet to be implemented in Denmark. It is expected that it will impose changes to the current regulation.

Online gambling

Regulation/licensing

images 7. What is the licensing regime (if any) for online gambling?

There are currently no issues as to the legality of the Danish gambling legislation at EU level.

Available licences

Three types of online gambling licence are available:

  • Online casino licence. This covers the games roulette, blackjack, punto banco, poker and gambling on gaming machines as well as all other games which have an element of both skill and chance.
  • Betting licence. This covers both land-based and online gambling (see Question 5, Available licences).
  • A manager games licence. With effect from 1 July 2016, a new type of betting licence directed at manager games has become available. Manager games are typically characterised by having limited annual revenue and a low stake repayment percentage (that is, the amount of winnings is low relative to the amount of the stakes). This type of licence can only be granted where the net gambling revenue does not exceed DKK5 million and the stake repayment percentage does not exceed 20%.

Combined licences covering both betting (online and land-based) and online casinos are available.

A licence to provide betting or online casinos grants the right to provide gambling services on the Danish market. The licence does not automatically cover the provision of gambling in Greenland, although a licence can be issued to cover Greenland at no extra cost. If the licence is to cover Greenland, the licence holder must ensure that specific information is available to players in Greenlandic.

Eligibility

See Question 5, Eligibility.

Application procedure

Any individual or company wishing to apply for an online gambling licence in Denmark must submit three different forms:

  • Main application form. In the main application form, the applicant must provide legal and financial information about itself, including a description of the company structure, and designate a number of key persons to be responsible for different areas.
  • Annex A (personal statements). In Annex A, executive directors and members of the board must submit personal information, including name, address, marital status and experience with gambling.
  • Annex B (technical information). The applicant must provide detailed information about its technical capabilities and the gambling system it proposes to use.

These three forms must be accompanied by additional documentation supporting and elaborating the information provided in the application form.

It normally takes three to six months for the Danish Gambling Authority to issue a licence from the date it receives an application.

Duration of licence and cost

Online gambling licences normally last for five years. At the expiration of this period the licence holder can renew its gambling licence. The licence renewal process is similar to the application process and involves handing in many of the same documents and information.

Application fees and fees for the renewal of licences are subject to annual indexation and therefore change each year. The following fees apply from 1 July 2016:

  • Online casino licence or betting licence. See Question 5, Duration of licence and cost: Betting licence.
  • Combined licence. The application fee for a licence to provide online betting and online casinos is DKK366,500. The annual fee for the combined licence is divided into classes depending on the operator’s annual gross gaming revenue (GGR), and varies from DKK52,400 to DKK4,511,500. The latter fee class applies to operators with an annual GGR of DKK500 billion or more. The duration of the licence is usually five years. The fee to renew a licence is DKK130,900.
  • Manager games. The betting licence for manager games has a maximum duration of one year. The application fee for the new betting licence for manager games has been set at DKK50,000. There are currently no annual or renewal fees for manager games.

images 8. What are the limitations or requirements imposed on online gambling operators?

Prohibitions

The same prohibitions as for land-based gambling apply (see Question 6, Prohibitions).

Restrictions

Operators must provide online gambling in a sound financial and professional manner. The Danish Gambling Authority will assess whether this is the case based on a large number of documents that must be submitted by the applicant for a licence. The Danish Gambling Authority will consider the overall picture and if it finds that the necessary requirements are met, will issue either a conditional or unconditional licence.

The Danish Gambling Authority has published a Guideline on betting and online casino, listing 11 duties related to gambling:

  • Responsibility, risk and managerial prerogative (that is, the powers of the directors and the management to exercise control, for example, over employees, and to decide how work should be done) relating to the operation of games (duty 1).
  • Contracting with players.
  • Ownership of player data, including registration of players (duty 3).
  • Player support.
  • Ownership of intellectual property rights relating to games.
  • Ownership of website/game client.
  • Operating the gambling system, including maintenance of hardware.
  • Owner or renter of the greater part of the gambling system (gambling infrastructure).
  • Control of collusion, money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
  • Payment transfer services and underpinning of payment instruments.
  • Marketing of trade marks and/or games.

Operators must demonstrate their ability to perform each of these sufficiently.

The licence holder can outsource the completion of some of these duties to third parties. However, duty 1 and duty 3 must always be performed by the licence holder.

Operators of online betting and online casinos must make available to players a function allowing them to request a 24 hour “cool off period” in which the player cannot use the site, a temporary exclusion or a final exclusion from gambling (see Question 6, Restrictions). Where a player requests to be self-excluded, the gambling operator must also give the player information on the opportunities to get counselling and treatment for gambling addiction in a Danish treatment facility.

The online gambling operator must be technically connected to the Danish Gambling Authority’s register of players who have voluntarily self-excluded themselves from gambling (ROFUS) and must ensure that players who have self-excluded themselves via ROFUS are denied access to participate in gambling services.

All online gambling operators must avoid sending marketing material to persons who have self-excluded themselves.

Anti-money laundering legislation

The executive orders on online betting and online casinos contain rules with regard to anti-money laundering that are similar to the rules in the executive order on land-based casinos, setting out requirements for attention, inspection, and notification, and that written internal rules be made concerning the prevention of money laundering and terrorism (for more details, see Question 6, Anti-money laundering legislation).

As at 1 October 2016, the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive has yet to be implemented in Denmark. It is expected that it will impose changes to the current regulation.

B2B and B2C

images 9. Is there a distinction between the law applicable between B2B operations and B2C operations in online gambling?

Online gambling operators contracting with players directly, either through their own website or through a white label site, must hold an online gambling licence to provide gambling in Denmark. In general, a “white label” site is defined as a site, which markets games that is provided under a different party’s licence to provide gambling, making it appear as if the white label site operates the game. This will allow the producer/product owner to sell its gambling product several times in a way that makes it look like a unique brand every time. The producer/product owner must be a licence holder. There are specific regulations on the use of white label sites.

Online providers who do not contract directly with players, but only provide services to gambling operators, are not required to hold a licence.

Technical measures

images 10. What technical measures are in place (if any) to protect consumers from unlicensed operators, such as ISP blocking and payment blocking?

The Danish Gambling Authority may require internet providers to block access to illegal gambling operators’ websites once an injunction has been issued by a Danish Bailiff’s Court.

The Danish Gambling Authority may also require banks to block financial transactions from or to an illegal gambling operator once an injunction has been issued by a Danish Bailiff’s Court. However, as at 1 October 2016, the Danish banks and the Danish payment service providers do not have the technical means necessary to block financial transactions.

Mobile gambling and interactive gambling

images 11. What differences (if any) are there between the regulation of mobile gambling and interactive gambling on television?

The law is in general the same in relation to mobile gambling and interactive gambling in Denmark. However, one major difference exists regarding how the player logs on to the gambling account when using a mobile device.

The main rule is that a player’s login to their online gambling account must involve the use of a digital signature with a security level corresponding to the Public Certificates for Electronic Services (Offentlige Certifikater til Elektronisk Service) (OCES) standard or higher. To fulfil this requirement, the Danish licensees use NemID (the solution used by most government/private banks in Denmark) as the method to log in.

However, prior to 2015, DanID, the supplier of the NemID solution, had not developed a solution for NemID which worked on all technical platforms including mobile units (tablets, smartphones and so on). For this reason, an exemption to the main rule was made, by which most licensees were granted a permission not to use NemID.

In September 2014, the Danish Gambling Authority announced that DanID had developed a new JavaScript solution for NemID, which worked on most mobile units. They said that the existing permissions not to use NemID would expire on 1 January 2015. However, an amendment to the relevant legislation that came into force on 1 January 2015 had the effect that permissions to operate without using NemID on technical platforms that had been previously granted would in fact remain in force.

Social gaming

images 12. How is social gaming regulated in your jurisdiction?

Social gaming is often described as games consisting of structured activities which have contextual rules through which users can engage with one another. Social games are most often multiplayer and have one or more of the following features:

  • They are turn-based.
  • They are based on social platforms for providing users with an identity.
  • They are played casually.

Social games that are provided for free (that is, where no stake or payment is needed to participate) can be provided without a licence.

The Danish Gambling Act 2016 is silent on the subject of when and if virtual currency can be given monetary value. This question must be decided on a case-by-case basis.

However, it is clear that if virtual currency is used as a credit with which to participate in a game, but is of no monetary or other value, this currency would under the Danish Gambling Act not constitute a prize or a stake.

In general, social gaming is an emerging area, to which the Danish Gambling Authority is paying close attention.Gambling debts

Gambling debts

images 13. Are gambling debts enforceable in your jurisdiction?

It is necessary to differentiate between legal gambling and illegal gambling.

Debts incurred in legal gambling are in theory enforceable. However, as the provision of gambling using a credit facility is prohibited, no debts should arise from gambling.

Participants must deposit the amount of money they intend to play for before being able to play.

Debts incurred in illegal gambling are generally not enforceable, as they will most likely be considered contrary to the general Danish principle of law and decency.

Tax

images 14. What are the applicable tax regimes for land-based and online gambling?

The provision and organising of games regulated by the Danish Gambling Act 2016 is subject to duties pursuant to the Danish Gambling Duties Act 2016. The duty percentage and the frequency of payment vary depending on the type of game.

Usually, the amount of the duty is a function of the gross gambling revenue (GGR), which is defined as received stakes minus paid out winnings.

Land-based gambling

The operator of a land-based casino must pay a duty at 45% of the GGR, minus the value of tipping chips (that is, the value of the tips stored in the so-called troncs), plus an additional 30% on the part of the GGR that exceeds DKK4 million. The duty is due on a monthly basis.

As a rule, operators of gaming machines offering cash winnings in restaurants or gaming arcades must:

  • Pay a duty at 41% of GGR.
  • Pay an additional duty of:
    • 30% on the part of the GGR that exceeds DKK30,000, for gaming machines in restaurants;
    • 30% on the part of the GGR that exceeds DKK250,000, plus DKK3,000 for each machine up to 50 machines, and DKK1,500 for each machine in excess of 50, for gaming machines in gaming arcades.

The operator of a free game (that is, a game without stakes) must pay a duty at 17.5% of that part of the winnings in excess of DKK200. The duty is due 15 days after the result has been decided.

Online gambling

Operators of betting (both land-based betting and online betting), including betting exchanges, must pay a duty at 20% of the GGR. The duty is due on a monthly basis.

The operator of an online casino must pay a duty at 20% of the GGR. For poker, and other games on which the operator charges a commission, the duty is 20% of the amount charged in commission. The duty is due on a monthly basis.

Advertising

images 15. To what extent is the advertising of gambling permitted in your jurisdiction? To the extent that advertising is permitted, how is it regulated?

In addition to the generally applicable Danish marketing legislation, the Danish Gambling Act 2016 contains a number of specific rules relating to the marketing of gambling:

  • The chance of winning must be presented in a correct and balanced way. Players must not be given the impression that the chance of winning is greater than it actually is.
  • Gambling must be presented as a form of entertainment.
  • Advertisements for gambling must not be directed towards people under the age of 18.
  • If a celebrity is used in an advertisement or in a marketing campaign, it must not be implied that the celebrity’s participation in gambling has contributed to their success, unless this is actually true (for example, celebrity poker players).
  • Marketing must not have content implying that participation in gambling promotes social acceptance or is the solution to financial problems.

The marketing of bonuses (for example, a sign-up bonus) is regulated by the executive orders on the provision of both land-based and online betting and on the provision of online casinos. When marketing a bonus, the gambling operator must make sure that:

  • All information regarding the terms of the bonus is available in a clear and unambiguous manner at the time when the offer is presented.
  • The bonus is paid into the player’s account immediately after the player meets the conditions for receiving the payment.
  • The player is given at least 60 days to meet the terms of the bonus.
  • The bonus offer must be made on the same terms to all players.

Developments and reform

Legal development
images 16. Has the legal status of land-based and online gambling changed significantly in recent years, and if so how?
Land-based gambling

The legal status of land-based gambling has not changed significantly in recent years.

Online gambling

Since the part liberalisation of the Danish gambling market in 2012, the legal status of online gambling has been largely unchanged.

In December 2015, the Danish Gambling Authority published a newsletter stating that they now accept the provision “virtual stock trading games”. This is defined as a game where customers play with fictional money on fictional financial markets. Equivalently, other products allowing players to bet on the future value of financial instruments can be offered as long as they do not constitute financial instruments and they comply with certain requirements. Financial instruments, such as financial spread betting, contracts of difference (CFD) and the like, are not covered by the term virtual stock trading games, and therefore do not fall within the scope of the Danish Gambling Act.

Reform

images 17. What, if any, are the likely short-term and long-term developments/legislative amendments concerning gambling in your jurisdiction? Are there any proposals for reform?

As at 1 October 2016, there are no proposals for reform of Danish gambling legislation.

The regulatory authorities

The Danish Gambling Authority

Description. The Danish Gambling Authority is the primary body supervising and guiding on the Danish gambling legislation.

W https://spillemyndigheden.dk/en

The Danish Ministry of Taxation

Description. The Ministry of Taxation is the ministry responsible for the Gambling Authority.

W www.skm.dk/english/the-danish-ministry-of-taxation

The Danish Customs and Tax Administration (SKAT)

A division of the Danish Ministry of Taxation, deals with the registration and inspection of licence holders and collection of gambling duties.

W www.skat.dk/SKAT.aspx?lang=us

Online resources

Danish gambling legislation

W https://spillemyndigheden.dk/en/legislation

Description. The Danish Gambling Authority’s website contains the applicable legislation, as well as official information regarding the Danish gambling market.

Source: Practical Law

Categories
Legislative FrameworkREGULATION

RG MAGAZINE Gambling and Social Responsibility
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