Denmark is home to a vibrant and competitive online gambling industry that affords gamblers plenty of choice and security. We can thank the current environment to the Danish Gaming Act, which went into effect in 2012. The passage of that act paved the way for major international online casinos to apply for licenses and serve the Danish market.
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Many unlicensed gambling websites continue to target the Danish market to this day, but there is no need to venture away from those who hold active licenses. The licensing system in Denmark is efficient enough that most reputable online casinos are already licensed. Going with a licensed operator ensures a high level of security due to the vetting process they must go through to receive a license.
If you would prefer to play at a Danish casino site not recommended here, be sure to visit the Danish Gambling Authority website to see a list of approved operators here. All gambling websites listed on that page have been investigated, licensed and remain in good standing.
Licensed gambling websites are also prepared to accept Danish krone deposits. When you’re ready to play real money casino games online, you will be able to make DKK deposits via a wide variety of deposit methods. These include credit cards, debit cards, Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, Paysafecard, bank wire and even paper cheque.
Online Gambling Laws in Denmark
Online casinos, sports betting and poker are all legal under Danish gambling laws. The Act on Gambling broke up a decades-long monopoly held by Danske Spil over those forms of gambling in an effort to modernize and liberalize Denmark’s approach to gaming. Danske Spil did however retain its monopoly status over horse and dog races, pigeon racing and lottery-style games that are based on pure luck such as scratch cards, bingo or betting on the results of lottery drawings.
The opening text of the Act on Gambling explains four primary goals for the regulation of gambling in Denmark:
- To maintain the consumption of gambling services at a moderate level
- To protect the young and vulnerable from being exploited or developing an addiction
- To protect players by ensuring that gambling is provided in a fair, responsible and transparent manner
- To ensure public order and to prevent gambling as a means to support crime
With these four purposes in mind, lawmakers drafted the Act on Gambling to strike the right balance between keeping the industry under control and providing a free market conducive to competition.
The Danish Gambling Authority (Spillemyndigheden) oversees all online and land-based gambling activities in Denmark as an agency under the Ministry of Taxation. Four departments within the Gambling Authority are each responsible for issuing licenses, setting policy, monitoring land-based gambling or ensuring compliance with the law.
Players should be happy to know that the licensing standards for online gambling in Denmark are high. The licensing process alone is designed to weed out those who cannot demonstrate a high level of financial suitability and technical know-how.
Licenses to organize online gambling may only be granted to legal persons/companies who are residents of Denmark or an EU or EEA country. Furthermore, a licensing fee of DKK 250,000 (adjusted for inflation since 2010) is required to merely apply for a license. Not only does this provide the state with income, but it discourages smaller, less financially-sound organizations from setting up shop in Denmark.
The Danish Gambling Authority also investigates applicants to determine if they are financially suitable to offer gambling in Denmark. This includes determining if the operator can pay all potential winnings, if the budget aligns with the company’s business plan and if the company has enough capital to run the business.
Other licensing requirements require the operator to show proper risk assessment calculations, the ability to manage many customers’ funds, provide IT security and maintain the computer systems required to run a real money online casino in Denmark. Once the license has been issued, the operator is bound to a whole set of additional laws and regulations that are designed to protect players.
For instance, one of those requirements is that the operator keep players’ funds in a segregated bank account that cannot be accessed for the daily operations of the business. Each day, the operator is required to make sure the balance in the account matches the total sum of all player deposits. This requirement is put in place to ensure players never lose their money even if an online casino runs into financial trouble.
The Act on Gambling does not call for penalties of any type for gamblers caught playing at unlicensed casino sites in Denmark. However, the law does punish those who operate, promote, advertise or process financial transactions for gambling operations that are not licensed.
Wes Burns co-founded OnlineCasinoSites.com with a mission to help gamblers understand and navigate the regulated online casino market in all countries around the world. Wes is a respected gambling journalist, working in the industry since 2008.