Danish regulator underlines stability despite online casino outpacing sportsbook growth

Spillemyndigheden has released its ‘2020 Danish Gambling Report’, revealing that the online casino vertical achieved a greater market share than sports betting for the first time.

Denmark’s regulator – headed by Anders Dorph – revealed that overall online casino revenues amounted to DKK 2,453 million (€330m) representing a market share of 27% –  whilst sports betting accounted for 25% of the sector’s overall income.

However, both were dwarfed by lottery sales, which contributed over one-third of the overall Danish gambling market’s 2020 revenue – specifically 35% – with a BSI of DKK 3,205 million.

The changes were largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced land-based casinos and gaming halls to close, the postponement of international and domestic sporting events, leading a significant downturn for associated gaming verticals. 

Land-based casinos and slot games were the most hard hit, amounting to 2% and 11% of the total Danish gambling sector respectively.

In total, the BSI for the Danish gaming industry reached DKK 9.2 billion (€1.2bn), a decrease of more than DKK 600 million (-6%) when compared with 2019 results. However, BSI is still far ahead of previous years figures, as industry tracking from 2012 to 2019 saw the figure grow by almost DKK 2 billion – reflecting a combined increase of 25%.

In relation to the wider Dansih economy – which also grew between 2012 and 2020 – gambling consumption has, according to Spillemyndigheden, ‘accounted for almost the same share’ in the national economy during this time period, remaining stable at between 0.39% and 0.43%.

A noticeable change during this time period was a consumer transition away from traditional land-based casinos towards emerging online verticals. In 2012, land-based gaming represented over 40% of BSI in comparison to online gaming, which accounted for 20%.

However, by 2020, online gaming accounted for over 45% of BSI, whilst land-based verticals stood at just over 30%. Although the COVID-19 crisis has, as mentioned previously, had a significant impact on this, online gaming came close to equalling its land-based counterpart in 2017, and finally overtook in 2018, having remained the more prominent of the two verticals ever since. 

In comparison to other European markets, Denmark was in the top 10 in terms of the most money spent per adult in 2020, standing in seventh place, but in comparison to other Nordic markets the sector lagged behind.

Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland all had a higher consumption than Denmark for 2020, with Norway reporting the highest overall consumption at DKK 2,594 per adult, just over 500 more than its Danish neighbour.

Additionally, the Spillemyndigheden has also offered a breakdown of responsible gaming statistics, revealing that by the end of 2020 over 26,115 players were registered with the Danish Gaming Authority’s Register of Voluntarily Excluded Players (ROFUS), an increase of over 24,000 since 2012.

Furthermore, over 76% of self-excluded players were men whilst 24% were women since the creation of ROFUS, a trend which continued in 2020. However, the number of relatives and professionals who contacted the ‘StopSpillet’ gambling addiction advice forum stood at 512, a decline from the 728 inquiries received in 2019.

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