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Denmark Permits Betsson, Bet 24 and Ladbrokes

Denmark has been a role model for liberalization.

Danish gaming officials cleared three more gaming sites to operate in the country. Betsson, Bet 24 and Ladbrokes all cleared regulatory hurdles and received the okay from the Danish Online Gambling Authority this week and can provide online gaming to citizens of Denmark.

All three companies offer sports betting which brings the total number of licensees authorized to provide that service up to six. Until recently, only Bet365, Unibet, Betfair and Sportingbet were could take sports bets from Danes.

Liberalization Role Model

Unlike other European governments, Danish officials haven’t been particularly resistant to online gaming and gambling regulation liberalization. In fact, many in the gaming industry hold the Danes as something of a role model for how gaming reform should work.

While the Danish Government had no qualms about competition to Dansk Spil, the federal gaming monopoly, land based casinos did. (In Denmark, Dansk Spil controlled games of chance like lotteries; and private companies ran games of skill including most table games.)

Those land based casinos repeatedly delayed the licensing process for igaming firms. They thought that paying a 75 percent tax rate while online companies paid closer to 20 percent was pretty unfair. European Union regulators agreed with the Danish government and paved the way for legal online wagering in Denmark.

Road Ahead

Denmark’s agreeable regulatory climate will likely make it a mecca for online gaming companies in the future. Though there have been a few delays, compared to the situation in countries like Spain, they hardly seem notable.

The road to gaming liberalization has been marked by some very fierce fights from governments hell bent on protecting the revenues from decades-old gambling monopolies. Denmark has distinguished itself as a true reformer and has set the standard high for other EU nations.