Danish market growth slowed by land-based decline in Q3

6 December 2018

Danish gambling regulator Spillemyndigheden has reported a 9.7% increase in market revenue for the third quarter of 2018, though the continued declines of the gaming machine and land-based casino verticals is slowing market growth.

While total revenue across online betting, online casino, land-based casinos and gaming machines was up year-on-year for the three months ended September 30th, rising to DKK1.62bn (£193.9m/€217.6m), this represented an 0.4% decline from the prior month.

This was largely down to a drop in gaming machine gross gaming revenue, which fell 6.5% from Q3 2017 to DKK344.6m, and a 14.0% fall in casino revenue to DKK81.8m.

In contrast to these land-based struggles, the regulated online verticals continue to thrive. Online wagering benefitted from the final rounds of the Fifa World Cup - despite Denmark being knocked out the tournament on the first day of Q3 - to report a 13.5% increase in GGR to DKK653.1m.

Online sports betting has also had its revenue total bolstered by the inclusion of horse racing betting, which has been added to the vertical from the second quarter of the year. This follows the opening-up of betting on horse racing, which had been a monopoly product operated by Danske Spil since the market was re-regulated in 2012, to all licensed operators in January 2018.

However, Spillemyndigheden noted, horse racing continued to see revenue and market share decline in 2017, with figures for 2018 not yet available.

Online casino also enjoyed a strong Q3, with revenue climbing 19.9% to DKK544.7m, due primarily to the popularity of slots, which accounted for 63.1% of total casino GGR for the quarter. Coupled with growth in table games GGR, this offset marginal declines in revenue generated from online poker and bingo.

Spillemyndigheden also provided an update on the country’s lottery market, which is still operated as a monopoly by Danske Spil, and due to different reporting periods, only annual results for the vertical are published. For 2017, the most recent figures provided, the vertical generated an estimated GGR of DKK3.1bn across the Klasselotteriet, Varelotteriet, and Landbrugslotteriet products.

While this makes it the largest single vertical, with market share of around 33.7%, this has declined from 35.1% in 2016. The regulator said that this was largely down to players shifting to online wagering and casino.

There has also been significant growth in the number of players to self-exclude from gambling, via Spillemyndigheden’s voluntary self-exclusion register ROFUS. By November 2018, 16,704 players has self-excluded, with 11,360 (68%) permanently blocking any access to gambling sites.