1 December 2016

Gambling news - december 2016 

This is a brief update on current affairs on the Danish gambling market.

This update addresses four central topics:

  • Opening for promotional lotteries / draws
  • Further liberalization of the Danish betting market
  • Update on the impact of the upcoming new Danish AML Act
  • New Guidelines from the DGA re illegal online gambling

Opening for promotional lotteries / draws

As per a recent change of opinion at the DGA, it is now considered legal for gambling op-erators in Denmark to offer promotional lotteries on the conditions set out below, even though gambling operators cannot hold a lottery licence. As lotteries are monopolized in Denmark it has, historically, been the DGA’s view that promotional lotteries are prohibited in Denmark. This view has been changed. 

A “promotional lottery” is defined as a lottery or a draw: (i) which is arranged by a gam-bling operator that holds a Danish gambling licence; (ii) in which participation requires the purchase of goods or a service, e.g. purchase of spins on a slot machine; and (iii) which is time limited. 

The DGA’s new view is that a promotional lottery is allowed on the following conditions:

  • The player must purchase goods or services in order to participate in the lottery / draw, e.g. spins on a slot machine;
  • The gambling operator must not charge a higher price for the goods or services than what the price would be if it the goods or services were not sold as a condi-tion for the entry into the promotional lottery / draw;
  • The total price for the player must be clearly informed;
  • The gambling operator must not reduce the quality or the composition of the goods or services that are the entry condition in an attempt to cover its own ex-penses connected to the promotional lottery / draw;
  • The promotional lottery / draw must be limited in time; and
  • The duration of the promotional lottery / draw must be clearly informed to the players. 

The DGA has stressed that the assessment of whether a promotional lottery is considered legal must be made on a case-by-case basis.

Further liberalization of the Danish betting market

Horse racing

Recently, a new government has taken office in Denmark. 

The new Danish government has announced an amendment of the Danish Gambling Act in order to liberalize the provision of bets on horse racing.  

In consequence of the forthcoming liberalization, the government has announced an amendment of the model for the distribution of revenues from lotteries and bets on horse racing. The new distribution model will entail changes in the financing of, the level of and the distribution of the revenue originating from the state-monopolized lotteries. 

Online bingo

It has not been specifically mentioned by the new Danish Government, but it has previously been mentioned that online bingo will be liberalized together with horse racing. It is thus expected that online bingo will be included in the forthcoming amendment of the Danish Gambling Act.

The draft bill including the relevant provisions which liberalize horse racing and online bin-go is yet to be presented, thus we do not know the conditions. The presentation is sched-uled to the end of February 2017.

Update on the impact of upcoming Danish Anti-Money Laundering Act 

Recently, a bill for a new AML Act was presented to the Danish parliament. The bill is based on the Fourth AML EU Directive (Directive 2015/849 of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing). 

According to the bill, the upcoming Danish AML Act shall only cover gambling operators that are established in Denmark and, thus, the act shall not cover gambling operators es-tablished outside of Denmark, except if the gambling operator has a branch in Denmark. In this case, the operator shall be covered by the AML Act. 

From a gambling law perspective, the most central impact is that gambling operators es-tablished outside of Denmark shall only comply with the AML regulation of its country of establishment. The supervising authority in this regard is the tax authority or the gambling authority of the country of establishment. 

It is stressed that it is still a bill and thus it hasn’t been passed.

New Guidelines from the DGA re illegal online gambling

Recently, the DGA published new Guidelines concerning illegal online gambling in Den-mark. Please find attached an unofficial translation of the Guidelines.

Significantly, the report includes the DGA’s first official view on ‘skin betting’ – a topic of current interest to the international gambling market. Skin betting is considered as betting pursuant to the Danish Gambling Act and, thus, a betting licence is required to provide this type of game in Denmark. 

Furthermore, the report captures the DGA’s practice in relation to illegal online gambling and includes topics such as: ‘Which games require a licence?’ And ‘When is a game aimed at Denmark?’

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