The Danish Gambling Authority, Spillemyndigheden, successfully blocked 55 illegal gambling websites after the City Court greenlit its petition. This is the highest number of digital blockades in the history of the Spillemyndigheden.
The Danish Gambling Authority had moved the court on six previous occasions to seek a ban on illegal gambling websites. The City Court upheld the petition on March 2nd, 2021, barring illegal betting rooms and online casinos from catering to Danish nationals. This marks the biggest drive to block illegal casinos since the Spillemyndigheden started penalizing unlicensed operators back in 2012.
“Protecting players from illegal gambling operations is our primary concern. We must also ensure that licensed casinos in Denmark can conduct business in an orderly manner. The record number of illegal casinos clearly points at the need to reign in the chaos. We will be keeping a stern vigil on illegal casinos from this moment forward”, explained Anders Dorph, Director of the Danish Gambling Authority.
The Story So Far
The incident had become a matter of principle as some service providers began claiming that the Spillemyndigheden could only ban an illegal casino if it could prove that a Danish citizen had used the services of said website. The City Court, however, ruled in the Gambling Authority’s favour after the latter had presented screenshots and documents from the websites proving that they allowed Danish citizens on their platforms.
The process of banning illegal websites is currently underway. The operators now plan on approaching the Danish High Court in the hopes of overturning the City Court’s ruling. Prior to the latest judgment, the Danish Gambling Authority banned 90 illegal casinos in total over the years. The addition of 55 new sites brings the total tally up to 145.
Among the new entrants, 22 online casinos and 23 skin betting websites were caught breaching the guidelines. The list further includes 4 online betting sites, 4 illegal lotteries, and two websites offering lottery, gambling, and betting services.
The Authorities Tighten the Grip
The Danish Gambling Authority is tirelessly engaged in identifying potential suspects, gathering evidence of foul play, and actively preventing such operators from carrying out their activities in the country. The Spillemyndigheden increased their effort in 2020, following the exponential rise in online gambling following the pandemic and their effort seems to have paid off.
In the last 12 months, more illegal sites were uncovered than ever before, leading to a higher number of blockades. Once the authorities assess that a website is illegally operating in Denmark, representatives ask the operator to cease all unregulated activities. If the website fails to comply, as is the case with these 55 casinos, the Spillemyndigheden moves the City Court for legal recourse.
All legal gambling websites in Denmark must prominently display the Danish Gaming Authority’s seal of approval on the website and marketing materials. This way, players can easily differentiate between regulated operators and illegal casinos.
According to an independent survey conducted last October, Denmark has the second-highest density of online gamblers in Europe, second only to Sweden. The total revenue from online gambling stood at 53.1% last year. Norway and the United Kingdom rank third and fourth on the list.
The revenue generated from mobile gambling increased exponentially in the last decade. The average jumped by 5% year-on-year to 61% last year from a paltry 11% back in 2012. But along with the profits came illegal betting houses. By March 2020, the Spillemyndigheden tried to block 17 illegal operations. While 16 operators were blocked by April, the 17th quit voluntarily.