When is it illegal to provide a gambling activity?
A gambling activity is provided illegally if:
- the gambling activity is provided without the required licence from the Danish Gambling Authority and
- the gambling provider targets its provision of gambling activities towards the Danish market.
Which gambling activities require a licence?
The Danish Gambling Authority monitors the Danish gambling market in order to secure that gambling activities conflicting with the regulations of the Act on gambling are not provided.
A licence to provide gambling in Denmark is required when:
- the participants must pay a stake of payment (money or other items of an economic value),
- the participant has a chance of winning (all kinds of winnings of an economic value) through the payment of a stake, and
- the gambling activity has an element of chance.
Gambling provided in Denmark
A gambling activity which fulfils the above mentioned requirements, and which is provided through the Internet, is seen to be provided in Denmark if:
- the homepage is in Danish,
- a Danish currency can be chosen,
- the homepage has a Danish customer service,
- payment methods can be used which would normally only work in Denmark, like e.g. Dankort, or
- the operator of the homepage directs his marketing towards Denmark.
Gambling activities can also be seen as being provided in Denmark if the games on the homepage in question are directed towards Denmark in others way. This relies on a very specific assessment which will be done on the basis of whether the licence holder through his combination of gambling activities wants to make it more attractive for Danish players to play there.
Gambling providers who do not have a licence to provide gambling in Denmark are not allowed to advertise their provision of gambling. All advertising of gambling activities and gambling providers without a licence is forbidden. The media, e.g. newspapers, radio and broadcasting networks and magazines, may therefore not contain ads from gambling providers who do not have a licence.
Sponsorships are covered by the prohibition of advertising. A sponsorship is typically an economic contribution to an activity, event or the like devised with the intent to promote the sales of the gambling provider’s products. The gambling provider often expects a quid pro quo service such as positive coverage, publicity and the like.
Especially for pyramid schemes
It is illegal to provide pyramid schemes. This follows from the Act on Gambling § 24, which you will find under Legislation. The characteristics of pyramid schemes are that:
- the participation requires money stakes or other stakes of an economic value,
- the participants are made to believe that there is a possibility of a financial gain, and
- the financial gain mainly derives from the payment of stakes from participants who one by one enters the arrangement.
Pyramid schemes are built upon a “pyramid” form. This means that the basis of the initiator and the participants’ financial gain in the scheme is created through the participants in the scheme acquiring more than one new participant, thereby making the pyramid grow.
Before it can be a pyramid scheme, the financial gain/prize must mainly derive from the payment of a stake which is paid by new participants in the game. The revenue in a pyramid scheme can therefore not primarily derive from an actual turnover of goods or services. An arrangement can be built as a pyramid without violating the prohibition of pyramid schemes if it is an actual sales organisation. Such organisations are often known as "Multi Level Marketing" or "Network Marketing".
The demarcation between the possibly legal Multi Level/Network Marketing cases and the illegal pyramid schemes will typically rely on a very concrete assessment.
The act applies for everyone, both private persons and companies. It is only the person or the company who “provides” the pyramid scheme who can be directly punished according to the rules of the Act on gambling. By the "provision" of pyramid schemes is meant the act of beginning the actual scheme and continuing it by acquiring new members to the game. This applies regardless of whether the new members accept the invitation.
If I become aware of an illegal gambling activity or advertisement?
If you find an illegal gambling activity - that is a gambling activity or a gambling provider without a licence, e.g. a gambling site online which does not have a licence from the Danish Gambling Authority - you can contact the Danish Gambling Authority, regardless of whether you are a player or a business owner.
You can also contact the Danish Gambling Authority if you find ads for illegal gambling or gambling providers in e.g. the television and radio, online, in the newspaper etc.
You can report directly through our contact formula in the menu Contact.
You can report illegal gambling activities or illegal advertisements through email in the abovementioned link or by contacting the Danish Gambling Authority at +45 72 38 79 13.
It would be of great help if you in your report inform us of the domain name/name of the media/address of the gambling venue with a specification of the date of the advertisement and whether any documentation of the illegal provision/advertising is attached.
What happens to the report?
One of the Danish Gambling Authority’s most important tasks is to protect the legal gambling market, i.e. the gambling providers who have received a licence. We are therefore always interested in hearing whether a gambling provider without a licence advertises for or provides gambling.
Your report will be included in our customary monitoring of the gambling market where we can investigate further whether a gambling provider without a licence has advertised for or provided gambling.
Gambling providers who provide gambling without a licence will receive a petition from the Danish Gambling Authority to terminate the illegal provision of games. In the end we will be able to take the matter to the Bailif’s court in order to have the homepage in question blocked and/or report the gambling provider in question to the police.
Media who advertise for gambling or gambling providers without a licence will receive a petition from us to stop the illegal advertising. If the media does not stop the illegal advertising, the media will be reported to police.
Why should I as a player chose the legal sites
If you as a player chose a gambling provider with a licence in Denmark, you can be certain that the games are offered in a fair, responsible and transparent manner and in accordance with Danish legislation.
At the same time you are ensured that by playing with a gambling provider with a Danish licence, the duties of a potential prize have been paid.
Gambling providers with a licence
You can find liste of licence holders to betting and online casino, gaming machines, poker tournaments and land based casinos under Links.
The following monopolies also have a licence to provide gambling:
- Danske Lotteri Spil
- Klasselotteriet (the Danish Class Lottery)
- Landbrugslotteriet (the Agricultural Lottery)
- Varelotteriet (the Goods Lottery)
Furthermore, the Danish Gambling Authority also issues licences to e.g. charity lotteries and local pool betting.