Denmark’s online casino, betting declines as retail reopens


Denmark’s gambling market bucked the global trend in Q3 as its online casino and sports betting revenue declined while land-based gambling improved.

Figures released Friday by Denmark’s Spillemyndigheden regulatory agency show locally licensed gambling operators generated revenue of DKK1.53b (US$244.2m) in the three months ending September 30, a 4.9% decline from the same period last year but a significant improvement from the DKK1.16b generated in Q2 2020.

Land-based casinos were the only vertical to post annual growth in Q3, a healthy 6% rise to DKK87m, while the nation’s slots halls were basically flat at DKK334m. Apparently, the pandemic lockdown created some pent-up demand amongst technophobic Danes, so it will be interesting to see if this trend is more than just momentary overcompensation. 

Online casino revenue slipped nearly 2% to DKK555m, with slots accounting for 74% of this sum, up around 1.6 points year-on-year. Roulette claimed nearly 10% while blackjack took a 7% slice. Desktop computers continue to fall out of favor with casino players, falling 4.5 points year-on-year to 40.4% in terms of stakes.

Q3’s online casino revenue decline was far greater (-17.5%) from Q2’s total, adding weight to Spillemyndigheden’s previous claims that Danish gamblers weren’t freaking out and gambling away the rent money due to pandemic lockdown boredom.  

Sports betting took Q3’s biggest hit, falling just over 11% to DKK558m. Digital channels accounted for nearly two-thirds of all betting revenue, with mobile’s share coming in a smidgen over 50%. These proportions underwent only modest revision from Q3 2019 but desktop’s share was less than half its Q2 2020 total, likely reflecting the reopening of land-based betting halls following their original pandemic lockdown.

Denmark’s ROFUS self-exclusion program for problem gamblers had 24,321 names on its register as of September, up from 19,785 at this point last year but only around 850 more from the end of Q2. ROFUS recently got a public makeover via a new logo, which includes a ‘pause’ icon to ensure nobody misses the point.

The end of Q3 saw the start of the staggered rollout of the state-run Danske Spil’s new Sikkert Spil (Safe Play) player ID system for all its land-based gambling options. The system has now been installed across the country, so as of this week, players looking to gamble will have to present either their physical Game ID or the mobile app version.

Danske Spil claims the new system will allow for enhanced monitoring of potential problem gambling activity, prohibit underage Danes from accessing gambling products and making it tougher for criminals to launder money or manipulate sports results.