Denmark opens up its gaming monopoly

cardsGambling in Denmark is about to embark on a new path now that the government has decided to terminate the 60-year gaming monopoly run by Danske Spil, a state-owned entity. This deregulation will open the door for international companies to try their luck at coaxing money from Danish punters.

The main factor behind the deregulation, according to the Copenhagen Post, is a current European Commission lawsuit contending the monopoly is violating free market rules within the EU. This means foreign gaming firms can now advertise in Denmark and their gambling offers will be legal to purchase.

Only the Lotto and scratch ticket games will continue to be operated exclusively by Danske Spil. Jumping into the Danish gaming market won’t be free, however. The government will extract a licensing fee from every company, ensuring a tidy chunk of cash goes into the state’s coffers.

In 2008, Danes spent around 11 billion kroner on gambling, with the state raking in 2.8 billion kroner in duty. The government spent about 1.6 billion kroner of the profits on youth organisations and charities.

Danske Spil is actually happy about the deregulation because it will greatly reduce the amount it has to pay back to the state, which is currently 30 percent of its take. It will also allow the firm to offer poker and casino gambling, which were previously outlawed under the old monopoly.

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