Danish gaming market growth driven by online casino in 2019

18 February 2020

Denmark’s regulated gambling market reported declines in gross gaming revenue across a number of core verticals, though a strong performance from the online casino vertical allowed the market to post year-on-year growth for 2019.

Total revenue amounted to DKK6.57bn (£732.5m/€879.0m/$951.9m) up 1.8% from 2018, of which sports betting accounted for DKK2.50bn, or 38.1% of the total. However, this represented a 1.0% decline from 2018, according to the figures from Danish regulator Spillemyndigheden.

After opening the year with a 10.4% hike in revenue, the vertical posted three consecutive quarters of revenue decline, culminating in a 6.5% drop in Q4.

Sports betting in Denmark has become an increasingly digital activity, with land-based betting accounting for just 33.6% of GGR. Should mobile betting continue to grow, it will account for more than 50% of total revenue in 2020, having reached 49.7% in 2019, with desktop betting making up the remaining 16.7%.

Online casino, which saw GGR rise 8.1% to DKK2.33bn, was the only vertical to post a year-on-year increase in revenue for the year. Revenue rose in each quarter of 2019, with Q2’s 18.0% jump being the standout.

Slots dominated the vertical, accounting for 72.7% of revenue, far ahead of second-placed roulette, on 10.4%, with blackjack coming in third on 8.3% of online casino’s total. Bingo, which was legalised in the first quarter of 2018, accounted for DKK94.9m in 2019.

Gaming machines, on the other hand, saw revenue fall 2.2% to DKK1.38bn, the largest year-on-year fall of all the core verticals. As with online casino, its strongest showing came in Q2, when it reported a 2.9% increase in revenue, though unlike online casino it posted declines for all other quarters.

Revenue came predominantly from gaming halls, which accounted for 75.9% of the total, with machines hosted in restaurants making up the remaining 24.1%. Daily average GGR per machine declined 2.2% to DKK3.9m. Friday proved the most popular day for playing the machines, accounting for 16.5% of revenue.

Moving to the land-based casino market, the vertical saw revenue fall 1.7% to DKK348m, though this was largely down to one particularly difficult quarter, with growth in all others. However, the 10.8% decline posted in Q1 far outstripped the growth seen throughout the rest of the year, resulting in the full-year drop. Average daily revenue for land-based venues was down 0.8% at DKK957,063.

Spillemyndigheden also provided an update on uptake of its player protection services, the self-exclusion system, the Register Over Frivilligt Udelukkede Spillere (ROFUS), and the StopSpillet helpline. For ROFUS, 21,065 individuals had registered to use the solution by December 2019, of whom 75.9% were male.

The vast majority of self-exclusions were permanent, making up 69.0% of the total, followed by 19.4% of players blocking access to gaming sites for six months. A further 8.3% self-excluded for three months, with just 3.3% blocking access for a sole month.

For the StopSpillet helpline, gamblers made up 56.8% of callers, followed by relatives of gamblers, comprising 38.8%, with treatment professionals making up the remaining 4.4%. Of the relatives that called the helpline, women made up the majority (66.8%) of callers.