Sports betting and online casino drive Danish revenue growth in 2018

12 April 2019

Increased consumer spending across sports betting and online casino helped to push gross gaming revenue in Denmark up 5.7% year-on-year to DKK9.74bn (£1.13bn/€1.30bn/$1.46bn) in 2018, according to official figures published by the Danish Gambling Authority (Spillemyndigheden).

The 2018 total is up by DKK520m on DKK9.22bn reported in the previous year, as the Danish market was boosted by the 2018 Fifa World Cup, which took place from June 14 to July 15 last year.

Gross gaming revenue from sports betting amounted to DKK2.53bn last year, up from DKK2.33bn in 2017, and is representative of 26% of total revenue for the year. Sports betting revenue was at its highest in the World Cup months, with June revenue at DKK245m and July DKK246m.

Online casino revenue also increased by 19.5% from DKK1.81bn to DKK2.16bn, with this form of gambling responsible for 22% of the whole regulated market in 2018.

However, online casino was boosted last year following the liberalisation of online bingo in January 2018, with this now accounting towards total online revenue for the year.

Lotteries, including charity lottery games, remain the highest source of gambling income in Denmark and represent 31% of the country’s market. Revenue for this sector amounted to DKK2.30bn last year, up 6.6% from DKK3.11bn in 2017. 

Lotto games such as Joker and EuroJackpot accounted for most of the revenue in this sector (DKK2.33bn), while class lotteries placed some way behind in second on DKK413m in revenue. Scratch cards contributed DKK248m in revenue, while keno generated DKK£31m.

Elsewhere, Spillemyndigheden noted a year-on-year decline in land-based casino revenue last year, with this figure dropping 5.8% from DKK375m to DKK354m, accounting for just 4% of the overall market.

Gaming machine revenue was also down 5.4% year-on-year to DKK1.41bn for the year, representing 14% of Denmark’s gambling market. Spillemyndigheden estimates that there are around 25,000 gaming machines current active across the country.

The increase in online gaming activities, in addition to the decline in land-based revenue, means online is now responsible for 54.5% of all gambling revenue in Denmark, compared to 51.5% in 2017.

Mobile was the platform of choice for online gaming customers in all but one of the quarters in the past year. Desktop placed just ahead of mobile in Q1 in terms of revenue take, but mobile was higher in the following three quarters. By Q4, mobile held 52.4% of the online market, compared to 49.2% in Q1.

Meanwhile, Spillemyndigheden has reported an increase in average weekly gambling spend by consumers over the age of 18, with this figure climbing 6.5% from DKK38.50 in 2017 to DKK41.00 last year. Gambling was most popular with consumers aged between 26 and 35. 

In terms of protection efforts for players, last year saw more consumers sign up to the ROFUS self-exclusion list, a scheme that allows players to take themselves out of both online gaming and land-based casinos.

A total of 17,355 people had registered by the end of 2018, up 35% on the previous year. Of this amount, 11,940, or 69%, have opted for permanent exclusion from gambling in the country.

Spillemyndigheden has been aiming to enhance protection measures in 2019, with the regulator successfully petitioning the country’s telecommunications providers to block access to 25 unlicensed gaming websites.

The order from Spillemyndigheden was upheld by the Copenhagen City Court, with internet service providers now required to block Danish consumers from accessing 10 igaming sites and 15 skin betting sites.

Meanwhile, a new code of conduct for gaming operators active in Denmark was published last month, with the aim of strengthening consumer protection and lowering the risk of gambling addiction in the country.

Due to come into force on July 1, 2019, the code aims to set limits and offer tools that go beyond regulatory requirements to help protect consumers.

Danish Online Gaming Association developed the code in partnership with the country’s slot machine operator association Dansk Automat Brancheforening, Danish casino operator body Dansk Kasinoforening and the Aarhus-based Royal Casino. Also involved in the creation of the code were lottery operators Danske Lotteri Spil, Klasselotteriet, Landbrugslotteriet and Varelotteriet.

Click here to read more about the fourth quarter in the country on the Denmark iGaming Dashboard.

Image: Bill Smith