Denmark’s online casino operators were the only ones to post year-on-year revenue growth in 2019.
Figures released Monday by Denmark’s Spillemyndigheden regulatory agency show locally licensed gambling operators reported total revenue of DKK6.57b (US$952.3m) in 2019, around 2% higher than 2018’s total and the seventh straight year of growth since the regulated market launched in 2012.
Locally licensed online casino revenue was up 8.1% to DKK2.33b in 2019, the only gaming vertical to enjoy a year-on-year improvement. Sports betting fell less than 1% to DKK2.5b, gaming machines were down 2% to DKK1.38b and land-based casinos slipped 1.6% to DKK348m.
As for the fourth quarter of 2019, betting scored the highest revenue at DKK621m, although this was down 6.4% from the final three months of 2018. Online casino revenue ranked second with DKK573m, down 3.2% year-on-year. Gaming machines were down 6.8% to DKK329m while land-based casinos bucked the downward trend, rising 2.2% to DKK90m.
Mobile gambling continues to be the dominant channel, accounting for 48% of sports betting revenue in 2019, well ahead of land-based wagering (34.2%) and desktop computers (17%). Nearly 43% of online casino revenue came via mobile, up 2.5 points from 2018.
Denmark’s ROFUS responsible gambling program had 21,065 registrations at the end of 2019, up from 17,687 at the end of 2018. Of these, 14,528 (69%) had opted for permanent self-exclusion from Danish-licensed gambling sites.
The StopSpillet problem gambling hotline handled 722 calls in its first year of operations, with 39% of calls coming from relatives of problem gamblers. Around two-thirds of the callers cited online gambling as their primary concern.
Denmark’s regulated market has been hit with some tough new restrictions in recent months, including new anti-money laundering guidelines, responsible gambling rules, limits on ‘sales promoting arrangements’ and mandatory monthly deposit limits that took effect this January.
Denmark also announced plans to hike online gambling tax rates from 20% to 28% starting January 1, 2021. That has already prompted some operators, including Betsson’s Betsafe brand, to withdraw their services from the market.