Danish Gambling Authority (DGA)

What is the Danish Gambling Authority (DGA)?

The Danish Gambling Authority, or Spillemyndigheden, is an independent executive authority under the Danish Ministry of Taxation. The Authority is responsible for ensuring a regulated gambling market in Denmark to ensure players are safeguarded against illegal gambling. The Danish Gambling Authority is also involved in global cooperation with other gambling-related jurisdictions. 

The DGA carries out investigations of the gambling market, providing transparent guidance. It also exchanges best practices, experience, and knowledge with other countries regarding supplying gambling and its regulation. The roles of Spillemyndigheden include the following: 

  • Safeguarding underage and vulnerable gamblers 
  • Encouraging responsible gambling and safe gambling conditions 
  • Protecting gamblers’ rights 
  • Keeping gambling operations safe from illegal activities 
  • Guaranteeing the integrity of game devices and games 

The DGA’s activities include the following: 

  • Backing moral causes 
  • Guaranteeing that the gambling sector promotes the country’s development 
  • Issuing gaming and lottery licenses 
  • Researching and publishing studies on the different aspects of gambling 
  • Supervising licensed gambling 

History of the Danish Gambling Authority 

Spillemyndigheden, or the Danish Gambling Authority, was established in 2000 under the Danish Ministry of Taxation. During the regulatory body’s first decade, its main task included controlling the gaming machines in restaurants, casinos, kiosks, gaming arcades, and more. 

The Authority also monitored the seven brick-and-mortar casinos located in Denmark and Danske Spil. 

Simultaneously, the regulatory body distributed licenses to hold bingo events and charitable lotteries. This role significantly changed in 2012, when the (current) Danish Gambling Act entered into force. The Gambling Act of 2012 was aimed at bringing all gambling activities under one encompassing legislative instrument. 

On January 1, 2018, commercial licenses for greyhound/horse racing and bingo became available. The present tax rate for iGaming and sports betting is 28% of GGR, up from 20% in 2021. The government put forth new laws in 2019 to raise the social responsibilities of operators–the legislation became effective in 2020. 

Presently, every gambling business applying for and obtaining a license is permitted to provide gambling services in Denmark. Since Danske Lotteri Spil still has a monopoly status, lotteries are still exempted from this. 

Denmark has always traditionally been a closed system regarding games of chance. That system changed in 2012 to combat illegal gambling operators. Accordingly, as of January 1, 2012, the DGA evolved into an independent executive authority with its designated director. 

Denmark’s gambling regulation remains dynamic, not falling behind the less regulated markets. That also means its authorities must focus on the influx of new casino establishments in the Danish gambling market and trends enforced by industry trendsetters. 

Regulation of Danish gambling 

The regulation of Denmark’s gambling market is currently among the most effective worldwide, providing a high level of safety for end-users while encouraging fair competition to businesses holding legitimate licenses. 

The regulatory body is responsible for governing all gaming-related activities in Denmark, such as casinos, gaming machines, media games, bingo halls, the national lottery, communication marketing games, remote gaming, public poker tournaments, and non-profit games. 

Any business looking to offer gambling licenses in Denmark must apply for a license from the Danish Gambling Authority. There is also an application form the applicant must fill out, and after applying, they must submit an application fee. A gambling license remains valid for up to five years. Said gambling license also encompasses the land-based and online sales of gambling products.  

Impact of the Danish Gambling Authority 

As mentioned, the DGA ensures safe and regulated gambling in the Danish gambling market, therefore guaranteeing players are protected from illegal gambling.  

The Authority focuses on protecting players, especially minors and vulnerable individuals. It is at the forefront of industry developments, aiming to bring about significant change. 

The Danish Gambling Authority’s objectives to effectively regulate the gambling landscape in Denmark include the following: 

  • Amalgamating all the regulative functions relating to gambling operations 
  • Maintaining its status as an all-encompassing authority for licensing 
  • Providing accessible, authoritative resources 
  • Operating a completely integrated Authority 
  • Supporting technological innovation and the entire gambling industry 

In 2012, the DGA entered into an MoU with Malta’s Gaming Authority (MGA) (formerly the Lotteries and Gaming Authority) (LGA) on bilateral cooperation. With the MoU in question, both jurisdictions sought to achieve a mutual understanding of each other’s regulatory procedures for remote gambling to encourage cooperation. 

In 2018, the Authority became a part of a global collaboration that involved the ambiguity between gambling and video gaming. 17 European authorities signed a statement agreeing to zero in on the blurred lines involving gambling elements incorporated into video gaming, e.g., skin betting, loot boxes, etc. At the time, there was a particular focus on the concern that minors were partaking in such video games. 

The Authority also participates in responsible gambling initiatives. For instance, On December 6, 2022, the Authority updated license holders on responsible gambling prerequisites. The regulatory body reminded casino operators of guidelines on deposit limits, self-exclusion marketing, due diligence, and interventions.  

Challenges and future of the Danish Gambling Authority 

The DGA takes several measures to ensure fair play and prevent problem gambling in Denmark, including participating in global cooperation with other jurisdictions, conducting research and publishing studies, carrying out risk-based inspections, and more. 

The Authority also adapts to constant trend changes in the industry. For example, in 2021, Spillemyndigheden amended some of its regulations concerning online licenses, specifically targeting the use of IT gear by online license-holders. 

Spillemyndigheden regularly oversees the gambling market. It holds the authority for licence revocation if it learns that the licensee can no longer provide games or services financially, safely, or professionally. 

Guaranteeing Denmark’s safe and legal gambling market

Overall, working with other authorities under the Danish Ministry of Taxation, the DGA secures the foundation for funding the gambling sector. The Authority takes a transparent approach, focusing on working next to its stakeholders, with its managers and staff professionally solving challenging tasks with significant involvement. 

Its expertise evidently aligns with its dedication to guaranteeing Denmark’s safe and legal gambling market. 

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