Much more than bonus rules

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The bonus rules constitute only one section out of 41 in the new Order on online casinos, which replaces an order from 2017, and while many of the other sections are unchanged from the previous order, there are also changes in other areas.

In order to promote responsible gambling, the casinos must now “[…]acquaint themselves with the player’s gambling patterns and must take measures to prevent and prevent the player from developing problematic gambling behavior and gambling addiction”. This is an area that big operators like Mr Green and LeoVegas are well ahead of, while other casinos have to start from scratch. It is unclear how the Gambling Authority will deal with this requirement and which “measures” they will accept as adequate.

At the lighter end of the requirements, there are a number of new requirements for what must be mentioned in marketing and on the casinos’ websites, e.g. there is now a direct requirement that all gambling advertisements must provide information about the Gambling Authority’s own helpline, which opened in January 2019.

Finance Act 2020 and casino tax

Finance Act 2020

While the update of the Order for online casinos has been expected for more than a year, it was only at the very end of the Finance Act negotiations for 2020 that the tax increase from 20% to 28% for online casinos was added.

There is still no tax on casino winnings, so players will not immediately feel the tax increase paid by online casinos, but it will have derivative effects for players in the form of smaller casino bonuses and fewer casinos to choose from.

The agreement document for the Finance Act 2020 states:

The agreement document

With current rules, there are a number of different rates across game types. Today, the tax on betting and online casino is lower than the tax on land-based casinos and slot machines.

The government, Radical Liberals, Socialist People’s Party, Enhedslisten and Alternativet want to regulate the Danish market for betting and online casinos and to prevent gambling addiction. The parties therefore agree to increase the tax rate on betting and online casino from 20 to 28 per cent. of the gross gaming revenue (BSI). The initiative comes into force from 2021 and is estimated to involve a financing contribution of DKK 150 million. DKK annually from 2021. Permanently, the financing contribution amounts to DKK 150 million. DKK

It is unclear how the increase in the levy meets the stated objective of regulating the betting and online casino market and preventing gambling addiction, as it is the only measure mentioned. It does not say whether part of the increased income is set aside for prevention or treatment purposes, or whether only secondary effects are thought of, the tax increase itself with less money for marketing, fewer competitors on the market and thus less impact on vulnerable players. On the other hand, the tax makes the use of bonuses significantly more expensive, while other marketing expenses remain unchanged, which could lead to online casinos shifting some of their marketing budget from bonuses to advertising in the form of TV and online ads.

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