How and why does Denmark fight illegal gambling sites?

In the recent past, the fight against illegal gambling in Denmark got a big boost after a court ordered ISPs to block 24 websites operating illegally. The decision was made by a Frederiksberg court on January 23rd, 2018. Spillemyndigheden, the Danish Gambling Authority and which has been struggling to curb online illegal gambling was quite pleased with the court’s decision. According to Spillemyndigheden, the websites were not licensed to operate in Denmark and as such the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should not have allowed them to operate.

Why did Spillemyndigheden go to court?

According to the gambling authority, the target gambling websites some were in iGaming while some were skin-betting sites. These websites were employing a now common and popular trend of wagering using in-game skins. The main problem though is that these skin-betting sites were mainly focused on recruiting minors. The sites were also accused of trying to normalize gambling for the minors. Even after the authority approached the ISPs with the evidence and requesting them to block the sites, the ISPs were unwilling to cooperate. The authority thus went to Frederiksberg court in 2017 to propel the ISPs to block the illegally operating sites.

The struggle to deal with illegal online gambling

The online resource Casinopanett.eu reports that the Danish authorities allowed online gambling in the country at the start of 2012. Over the years, the industry has grown big and fast. For example, in the first three quarters of 2017, over 4.3 billion Danish Krone was generated and of this, over 1.3 billion came from online gambling. Denmark stands as the only Scandinavian country to open up its market to international operators. Even though the authorities have had to deal with illegal operators, the revenue generated is encouraging.

The illegal operators have been eating into the revenue and profits of the legitimate gambling firms. This has put the rightful players at risk of not only making losses but even closing shop. This is why the Danish government has come up with a solid legal framework for its gambling market. The framework is awaiting approval from the European Commission. The new regulations will come into effect come Jan 2019 once the EC gives the nod.

Gaming authorities in Norway and Finland are working extra hard to keep the gambling monopoly under the government. This is exactly opposite what Denmark has been doing. The common belief by Denmark’s neighbors is that monopoly is the best form of regulation if total protection of citizens from unscrupulous iGaming operators is to be achieved. Given the recent blocking of illegal operators’ websites in Denmark, their argument seems to hold some water. However, Finland is under increasing pressure from the EU to open up its iGaming industry. As for Norway, the EU may not have much influence because the country is not part of the EU.

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