Denmark pols press for cuts to online gambling bonus offers


denmark-online-gambling-bonus-offersDenmark’s licensed online gambling operators could be required to significantly restrict the size of their bonus offers if local parliamentarians have their way.

Last week, Danish Social Democrat MP Jesper Petersen told local television outlet DR that online gambling sign-up bonus offers were getting out of control, particularly via television promos. Petersen claimed some operators were offering bonuses as high as DKK10k (US$1,640), while Petersen wants to see bonuses capped at DKK1k.

Jesper’s Social Democrats have found support for cuts in bonus offers among the Danish People’s Party (DPP), although the DPP has yet to specify how steep a cut it wishes to see imposed.

The Red-Green Alliance also supports the Social Democrats’ call for a DKK1k bonus cap, while also pushing for greater transparency of operators’ requirements for punters to turn over the bonus funds multiple times before being able to withdraw any winnings generated via the use of those bonus funds.

The Socialist People’s Party is taking a more extreme tack, calling the bonus reduction plan “unambitious” and pushing for a complete ban on all online bonus offers.

The SD’s Petersen warned that a total bonus ban might encourage Danish-licensed international sites to resume their Danish licenses and return to their unauthorized Danish-facing operations, “and then we will get more game ads with bigger bonuses, without anything we can do about it.”

The impetus behind the push to restrict bonus offers is the theory that problem gamblers are particularly susceptible to these types of promotions. According to the National Research and Analysis Center for Welfare (VIVE), there are roughly 125k Danish adults who have gambling problems, while 10k adults are considered gambling addicts, a 60% rise from 2005.

The 2017 annual report from Denmark’s Spillemyndigheden regulatory body showed locally licensed online gambling operators accounting for over half of total market revenue last year. The number of Danes who signed up for the regulator’s problem gambling self-exclusion program shot up 46% last year, although the regulator cautioned that much of this rise was related to wider marketing of the program’s existence.