The City Court of Copenhagen has ruled in favour of Denmark’s gambling regulator, Spillemyndigheden, in a disagreement with a local association concerning illegal bingo and banko games.
In 2019, during a routine inspection, the regulator discovered that the association, which remains unnamed, had been offering these games to its members illegally for several years. Spillemyndigheden argued that bingo and banko were the main activities of the association, violating national laws. Consequently, the case was reported to the police.
In Denmark, there is a state monopoly on lotteries, including bingo and banko games, with the exception of non-profit games that benefit a good cause. The regulator claimed that this particular association did not meet these criteria.
The court, which heard the case on May 8th, sided with the regulator’s findings and ordered the association to pay a fine of DKK 15,000 (£1,752/€2,014/$2,213). Additionally, the association will have an estimated DKK 5.0m confiscated as part of the ruling.
Addressing Problem Gambling
The illegal bingo case follows the Danish government’s recent decision to commit an additional DKK 30m to tackle problem gambling in the country over the next three years. From 2023 to 2025, DKK 10m will be released each year to support ongoing projects and efforts related to problem gambling. Recent research suggests that nearly 500,000 Danes struggle with some form of gambling addiction.
The first DKK 10m will be allocated to initiatives aimed at children and young people, as well as further research into gambling addiction. In April, Spillemyndigheden also assumed responsibility for Anti-Doping Denmark’s national anti-match fixing platform. The regulator will now oversee StopMatchfixing, a service allowing individuals to anonymously report suspected match-fixing incidents.
Spillemyndigheden decision: implications for the iGaming Industry
This court ruling has several important implications for the iGaming industry:
- Enforcement of regulations: The case demonstrates that Denmark’s gambling regulator is committed to enforcing the country’s gambling laws and that the courts will support their findings. This should serve as a warning to illegal gambling operations and encourage compliance with the law.
- Focus on responsible gambling: The government’s investment in addressing problem gambling highlights a growing concern for the welfare of players. This may lead to more stringent regulations and measures to promote responsible gambling in the iGaming industry.
- Collaboration against match-fixing: Spillemyndigheden’s oversight of StopMatchfixing suggests increased collaboration between the iGaming industry and anti-doping organisations to combat match-fixing. This may pave the way for further joint efforts to maintain the integrity of sports and prevent corruption.