The Danish Gambling Authority (DGA) is the gambling watchdog in Denmark and keeps a close watch on illegal gambling sites. The DGA’s website states that gambling activities are illegal in Denmark if they are provided without first obtaining a license from the authority. An online casino licensed in an offshore gambling jurisdiction is, therefore, illegal in Denmark if it targets Danish players.
Danish Gambling Authority’s Strategy to Prevent Online Gambling
As soon as the authority comes to know of an online gambling site illegally targeting Danish players with its promotions and advertisements, its sends its owner operator a notice, which brings to the notice of the operator that it is violating Danish gambling laws. In most cases, a notice is sufficient to stop an illegal gambling site.
If the illegal gambling site continues to accept Danish players in spite of the notice or fails to respond to the notice or if the authority cannot find the contact details of its owners on the website, the authority gets a court order that empowers it to instruct Danish ISPs to block the website. The authority may also submit a report to the Danish police.
How Denmark Reduced Illegal Gambling from 2012 to 2017
When Denmark legalized its gambling industry on Jan 1, 2012, it issued notices to many unlicensed online casinos that were accepting Danish players. These unlicensed casinos withdraw from the Danish market as soon as they received the notices. Still, the authority had to block 20 unlicensed online casinos. Most operators became aware of Danish gambling laws by 2013, as a result of which many of them started complying with them.
The Danish Gambling Authority collaborated with the anti-fraud unit of the Danish Tax Agency to optimize its work on automating search processes for illegal websites. The idea was to make the web searches more thorough. As a result of this, the authority identified a number of illegal gambling sites, which were being promoted to Danish players through affiliate sites. The authority issued notices not only to the illegal online casinos, but also to the affiliate sites. It again requested a court order to block a number of illegal gambling websites.
The following year, the Danish Gambling Authority focused on affiliate sites, casino review sites, and casino advocacy sites that promoted unlicensed online casinos to Danish players. The authority continued to monitor the activities of unlicensed gambling sites throughout 2015 and found that a number of them had stopped accepting Danish players.
The authority conducts thorough web searches for unlicensed online casinos year after year, issuing notices to them and even blocking them if necessary. It has been hugely successful in weeding out illegal online casinos from Denmark’s regulated casino gaming market.
How Authority Identifies Unlicensed Gambling Sites
The Danish Gambling Authority, like their colleagues from Swedish Spelinspektionen, mostly uses web searches to identify unlicensed online casino sites. Web searches enable the authority to find out exactly how many casinos without license offer gambling services and promote their services and products to local players.
The authority uses a search robot for this purpose and regularly updates it in collaboration with the anti-fraud unit of the Danish Tax Agency. The web searches, however, reveal a very small number of websites that illegally accept Danish players. In fact, the authority is more concerned with the illegal promotion and marketing sites that these searches reveal than with illegal online casinos. These are recommendation sites that provide lists of “top online casinos” for Danish players, most of which do not have a Danish license.
The authority has also noticed that a lot of illegal gambling takes place on the social networking site Facebook. Several Facebook groups operate illegal online lottery games. The authority, therefore, collaborates with Facebook to control this problem. As part of its agreement with Facebook, the authority directly reports illegal gambling activities in Facebook groups to the social networking site’s illegal gambling working groups. In 2018, the authority successfully shut down four Facebook groups that provided illegal gambling services.
Appeal to Licensed Operators and Consumers
The Danish Gambling Authority requests its licensed operators as well as players to report all unlicensed gambling activities in Denmark. On its official website, the authority assures players as well as owners of licensed gambling businesses that it would be happy to hear from them if they come across any advertisement, marketing, or promotion from an unlicensed casino.
The website brings to the notice of the general public that owners and operators of gambling sites cannot advertise their products and services in Denmark without a gambling license from the Danish Gambling Authority. The media, including TV channels, radio, magazines, and newspapers, will be violating Danish gambling laws, if they display advertisements or promotional material from gambling businesses without a Danish gambling license.
The above law applies to sponsorships too as Denmark considers sponsorships as economic contributions to events, activities, and others that promote the unlicensed online casino’s products and services.