Swedish operator Betsson AB is hedging its bets on entering the liberalized Danish market until the country clarifies its position on the so-called ‘black period’ during which all prospective gaming license applicants are supposed to cease offering services to Danish citizens. Betsson has complained to the European Commission that such a ‘time out’ runs contrary to EU law.
Betsson also believes that the proposed 20% tax rate (plus yearly fee) that the Danish government wants to impose on new licensees is prohibitively high. The only way to justify such a hefty price tag would be if the Danes could guarantee that non-licensed operators would be utterly blocked at Denmark’s digital frontiers, something that Betsson feels is “technically very complex, if not impossible.”
Other companies who are expected to apply for Danish licenses, including Bet24, Centrebet and Ladbrokes, point out that if the Danes introduced the ‘black period’ at the same time as they begin IP blocking the non-licensees, Danes would be left with no way to play poker or casino games online, as these services are not currently offered by homegrown monopoly Danske Spill. Black period, indeed.