In fact Denmark is widely seen as the best regulated jurisdiction amongst the Scandinavian countries, and also amongst the first Northern European countries to liberalize the market.
Up until 2012, Denmark was a grey market for gambling operators, who made use of the EU freedoms to offer gambling services in the country by using other licences issued by other member states. But this changed when the Danish Gambling Act came into force in January 2012.
In Denmark both landbased and remote gambling are supervised by the Danish Gambling Authority (DGA a.k.a Spillemyndigheden). Founded in 2000, the DGA falls under the Ministry of Taxation, and is responsible for:
- Ensuring a well-regulated gambling market in Denmark
- Protection of players
- Ensuring gambling is fair and transparent
- Prevent illegal gambling
Even though Denmark boasts one of the most liberal and properly regulated markets across Europe, it is still worth noting that it still has a monopoly on the national lottery and other commercial lotteries (like a number of other countries) which is owned by Danske Spil. The same operator also has a monopoly on sports betting which involves animals, mainly horse races but not only.
Denmark offers mainly two types of licences, licences to cover remote gambling and licences to cover landbased gambling. If a gambling activity is offered in the Danish market and falls under one of the below categories, then a licence issued by the DGA is required:
- Games with a mix of skill and chance
- Betting on the outcome of events
For remote gaming, operators can apply for any of the below licences or both:
Betting Licence – This licence covers any form of betting on events and includes games where the participants try to predict the result/outcome of an event. Not only betting on sporting events are covered by the term. A wager on who becomes the next prime minister is also considered betting. In Denmark, betting on events which involves animals, is only allowed under the Monopoly (Danske Spil).
Online Casino Licence – Online casino includes all the traditional online casino games: Roulette, backgammon, poker, black jack, baccarat, punto banco, online bingo, gambling on gaming machines. Online lotteries are not covered by this licence and thus cannot be offered to the Danish Market.
In order to provide gambling services in Denmark, a company must be established in Denmark or EU/EEA, or have an appointed representative living in Denmark. Such representative must obtain approval from the Danish Gambling Authority (DGA) and will be considered as the main point of contact with the Danish authorities.
Upon payment of the non-refundable application fee (in 2021) DKK 292,300 (€39,285), the DGA will start processing the gambling application. Individual applications for either a betting licence or an online casino licence cost c.a. €39,285, whilst an application to provide both online casino and betting, is set at DKK 409,200 (€54,996) paid in advance.
After the evaluation process, which is always expected to take close to six months, the DGA would either proceed with issuing the licence or reject. Licence rejections give no right to application refunds. In addition, the DGA may also opt to grant a conditional licence or even a revenue-restricted licence for operators generating (GGR) less than DKK 1,000,000 (€134,400), with the application for the latter go down to DKK 57,200 (€7,687).
The DGA online gambling licences are valid for five years, whilst the restricted licences are usually valid for one year. Operators in possession of a valid licence must apply for renewal during the time when the licence is still active, in order to continue with their business operation.
Operators providing gambling services must pay an annual licence fee and gambling duty based on Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR). The gambling duty is set at 20% of the GGR for online gambling, be it betting or online casino, whilst the annual licence fee can vary as per below table, with the DGA adjusting the licence fee brackets on an annual basis.
In 2021, annual licence fees are based on the below table:
|Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR)||Annual Licence Fee|
|Less than DKK 5,000,000 (€672,000)||DKK 58,500 (€7,862)|
|DKK 5,000,000 (€672,000) to DKK 10,000,000 (€1,344,000)||DKK 146,200 (€19,649)|
|DKK 10,000,000 (€1,344,000) to DKK 25,000,000 (€3,360,000)||DKK 263,100 (€35,360)|
|DKK 25,000,000 (€3,360,000) to DKK 50,000,000 (€6,720,000)||DKK 526,100 (€70,707)|
|DKK 50,000,000 (€6,720,000) to DKK 100,000,000 (€13,440,000)||DKK 935,200 (€125,690)|
|DKK 100,000,000 (€13,440,000) to DKK 200,000,000 (€26,880,000)||DKK 1,753,500 (€235,670)|
|DKK 200,000,000 (€26,880,000) to DKK 500,000,000 (€67,200,000)||DKK 2,922,500 (€392,784)|
|DKK 500,000,000 (€67,200,000) or more||DKK 5,260,500 (€707,011)|
At IGA Group, we are committed to providing the best possible service to our clients, by using our wealth of experience and knowledge to maximise the potential of their business. We have years of experience in the gaming sector, both through previous employment with gaming companies, but also through software companies providing technical solutions and also through various consultancy engagements both at a strategic, operational and regulatory level.
Our expertise covers the whole spectrum of operator activities: legal, finance, operations, online gaming regulation, compliance, AML, technical, licensing, corporate, SEO, support, company formation, mergers and acquisitions and more.
Having assisted companies in obtaining gaming licences in Malta, UK, Romania and Curaçao, we pride ourselves for being one of Malta’s most experienced iGaming service providers.