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Gambling games in Denmark



Dansk Tipstjeneste is the largest supplier in the Danish lottery gaming market. Other companies include the fully owned limited liability company The Danish Class Lottery (Klasselotteriet) and the not-for-profit charity lotteries, Varelotteriet and Landbrugslotteriet.

Total lottery sales more than doubled during the 1990s primarily due to increase in Loto turnover, but also due to Dansk Tipstjeneste began offering scratch cards and the Nordic Viking Lotto.

Dansk Tipstjeneste was set up in 1948. Its activities are regulated by the rules laid down in the Danish Act on Certain Games, Lotteries and Betting. It is 80% owned by the Danish State, and the Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) and the Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations (DGI) each have an ownership interest of 10%.

In 2000, the Dansk Tipstjeneste Group had an estimated market share of around two-thirds of Gross Gaming Revenues (GGRs) of the Danish betting market, consisting of Dansk Tipstjeneste’s traditional games and lotteries as well as betting on horse racing. Their market share in 2004 is estimated at just over 60%, including slot machine activities.

In 2004 Dansk Tipstjeneste Group had 3767 retailers of which 2805 were networked. Of these retailers, 246 are DanToto off-course betting offices.

In 2003 the total sales of Dansk Tipstjeneste was DKK 9.01 billion including horse racing, DKK 468.8m and slot machines total sales of 1.49 billion. Sports betting alone accounted for DKK 1.737 billion. Lottery sales and scratch tickets accounted for DKK 5.308 billion.

Additionally, the allocation of 30% for good causes DT pays DKK 1.200 billion in taxes to the state. Other lotteries in Denmark totalled about DKK 685m in 2003.

No license fees are paid by Landbrudslotteriet and Varelotteriet lotteries, and all their profit goes to charitable organisations. About 15% out of total sales goes to distributors and 12% are allocated for marketing and administration.

Companies pay income tax of 28% in Denmark, which came into force for the income year 2005). Dansk Tipstjeneste A/S is not liable to pay income tax, but generally pays 16% of the total stakes in tax to the Danish State. Dansk Tipstjeneste paid DKK 1.2 billion (Euro 161 million)in tax in 2004. to the Danish State in 2004. Dansk Tipstjeneste pays an additional tax of 15% on winnings above DKK 200. Prizes are exempt from income tax Games of chance are not subject to VAT in Denmark. This means that the Dansk Tipstjeneste Group cannot deduct VAT paid, which is 25% in Denmark. Dansk Tipstjeneste A/S does not pay any license fee.

The Danish Class lottery (Det Danske Klasselotteri) is a national lottery company. It also does not pay VAT, as is also the case with other gambling operators in the market. It, however, pays 15% on winnings above DKK 200 and 6% on turnover. It also pays standard company tax (2005) of 30%. The company’s surplus is paid to the Danish Ministry of Finance once a year.

The prizes are subject to tax of 15% to the Danish State calculated on the share of the prize amount that exceeds DKK 200 (€26.83). The prizes are exempt from income tax.

The profit generated by Dansk Tipstjeneste A/S after payment of tax to the Danish State, the prizes and administrative expenses, depreciation, provisions, etc. and dividend goes to charitable causes and for non-profit purposes. The consolidated profit at group level amounted to DKK 1.6 billion (€214.5 million) in 2004. The Danish Act on Certain Games, Lotteries and Betting (Section 6 A) contains the distribution scale on which the distribution of the total profit is based. The profit accrues to the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior and Health, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Ministry of Finance. The Ministries apportion the funds in accordance with the provisions in Sections 6 B to 6 H.

Danish law also stipulates that the Minister of Taxation shall supervise the business of Dansk Tipstjeneste A/S and that the costs of the supervision and inspection shall be borne by Dansk Tipstjeneste A/S. Furthermore, The Danish Act on Certain Games, Lotteries and Betting stipulates that the Minister of Taxation is responsible for monitoring the gaming market in order to ensure the observance of the rules, where the costs of the monitoring are again borne by Dansk Tipstjeneste A/S, among others. The Ministry of Taxation has assigned the responsibility for inspection and monitoring to the Gaming Authority.

The inspection fee depends on the number of new games that are launched. In addition, the introduction of new technology may result in an increased fee. Besides that, the inspection fee is also largely dependent on the Gambling Authority’s level of control. The fees for inspection and monitoring are not expected to increase markedly in the next 5 years. GTECH continues to provide Dansk Tipstjeneste with software support and terminal maintenance and repair since 1989 until the end of August 2005 under the current contract.

The Ministry of Taxation, Trade and Justice released a substantial review and recommendations entitled the ‘National Internet Gaming Strategy’ during May 2001. This report dealt with issues on the legality of internet betting sites both within and from outside Denmark and was intended as a basis for further discussions and deliberations of the Future of Gaming in Denmark. The proposal to take measures to block payment of transactions to foreign providers has never been realized.

It must be pointed out that today it is illegal to advertise for gambling providers, who operate on the Danish market without a license.

The two Danish charitable lotteries (Landbrugslotteriet and Varelotteriet) have 19 full-time people working between them. These numbers are not expected to change

Casino Gaming

Legal casinos were first established in Denmark in 1991 with the first property opening during the following year. In 2005 there are ten privately-operated casinos in Denmark, regulated by the Ministry of Justice. Among them they operate 78 tables and 441 slot machines. All the casinos are located in the international hotels of high standard.

The Danish gambling casinos are placed in larger, international hotels, but the Gambling Casino Act does not contain any articles which say that only larger hotels can be permitted to have a gambling casino. However, the explanatory notes to the Gambling Casino Act says that when the Ministry of Justice is to decide whether a license should be granted, great importance must be attached to the fact, that the gambling casino is placed in an area which is visited by numerous tourists. It is also of great importance that the presence of a gambling casino does not damage the development of the local community.

At present three casino properties are located in Copenhagen, with two each in Aalborg and Vejie, and one each in Aarhus, Helsingor and Odense. Foreign ownership of casinos in Denmark is permitted. Casinos Austria International is the largest non-Danish player in the market generating about 75% of the sector’s total revenues.

The tax on GGRs is structured as follows. For GGRs earned on tables and gaming machines combined, the tax rate is 45% for annual GGR up to DKK 48m (€6.43 million). For casino win above this level, the marginal tax rate is 75%.

The Danish Casino Association estimates there are 380 full-time employees across all the casinos. This number is not expected to change within the next five years.

The gambling casinos can charge an entry fee of up to DKK 100 (€13.41). However, there is no longer a minimum entry fee. Casinos are permitted to advertise and to provide entertainment; properties are also permitted to serve alcohol on the gaming floor and operate bars and even nightclubs. Customers are permitted to tip casino staff and are required to be over 18 years old and to provide valid ID. Problem gamblers may be excluded from the property at the casino’s discretion.

Machine Gambling Outside Casinos

Prior to 2001, there were a large number of illegal slot machines at restaurants and there were only a limited number of legal gaming machines in Denmark, but there are attempts by Dansk Tipstjeneste to liberalize laws governing such machines through its subsidiary Dansk Automatspil. The following table summarizes taxes for gaming machines in restaurants and arcades.

AWP tax must be paid by operators on a monthly basis. A deposit to guarantee the tax must be paid before a site is allowed to start operations which is DKK 7,500 (€1,000) for a restaurant and DKK 95,000 (€12,750) for an arcade. No VAT is chargeable as use of cashgaming, as reported by Dansk Automat Brancheforening (DAB) – The Danish amusement machine trade association.

AWPs are only permitted in alcohol licensed restaurants and approved arcades. All sites must have a license to operate AWPs.


In 2000, Dansk Tipstjeneste A/S set up a wholly owned subsidiary, DanToto A/S, which was granted a license to offer betting on horse racing as of 1 July 2000. However, the opportunity to bet on horse racing also existed before Dansk Tipstjeneste set up DanToto A/S. The license was previously held by the Danish horse racing industry, but DanToto took over this task due to the industry’s financial problems.

DanToto A/S’s activities had been regulated by the Danish Act on Betting on Horse and Dog Racing, but, by an amendment to the Act in the spring of 2003, the Act was compiled with the Danish Act on Certain Games, Lotteries and Betting.

On 1 January 2005, DanToto A/S merged with its parent company, Dansk Tipstjeneste A/S, which currently also holds a license to offer betting on horse and dog racing.

Since Dantoto merged with Dansk Tipstjeneste A/S the retailers are operated by Dansk Tipstjeneste. In 2004 there were 237 off-course retailers for horse betting of which 234 also sold Dansk Tipstjeneste’s other gambling products. One hundred sixty-one of DanToto’s offcourse betting offices also sell Dansk Tipstjeneste lotto products as well as providing betting services. Games have recently been introduced to provide Danes with the opportunity to place bets on Swedish horseracing. The Danish betting sector had DKK468.8m (€62.8 million) in GGR in 2003.

Dansk Tipstjeneste also provides sports games (approximately 18% of Dansk Tipstjeneste’s turnover), which have been rather stagnant recently, with some even being in decline over the past few years. The exception to this trend is Oddset, which was introduced in 1994 and continues to see increased popularity. Today Oddset accounts for 71.1% of all turnover on all Dansk Tipstjeneste’s sports-related games with a turnover that is 1.8 times that of Danish horserace betting. Oddset accounts for 68.5% – with a turnover that is 3.3 times that of Danish betting on horses.

In bookmaker betting (bets with fixed odds), Dansk Tipstjeneste A/S pays a tax of 30 % on the gross gaming revenue (GGR). In totalisator betting (bets with current odds) on horse and dog racing, a monthly tax is paid to the Danish State of 11% on the GGR as well as an additional tax of 19% on that part of the monthly GGR that exceeds DKK 16.7 million (€2.24 million).

The new Danish gambling legislation makes it impossible for EU based providers of sports betting services to establish a presence in Denmark and to supply their services via that presence. It also requires that all operators that offer betting and gaming to Danish citizens be licensed even if they are physically located outside of Denmark. Therefore it is now illegal for foreign and Danish gambling providers to directly target the Danish market via the Internet or any other market channel – except for licensee holding the sole Danish license. As one means of enforcing this, foreign bookmakers are now barred from advertising in the Danish media.

Sales Promotional Gambling

Category of sales promotional gambling does not exist in Denmark due to the rule of free entry in the Marketing Act. The Ministry of Family and Consumer Affairs, who took over the Ministry of Trade and Industry in regulating Sales Promotional Gambling.

Charity Gambling

There are two not-for-profit lotteries, Varelotteriet and Landbrugslotteriet, that are run by charities.

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