Danske Spil joins betting stakeholders with €1.6m research funding

Danske Spil is ‘satisfied’ with the results of 2022 trading, according to CEO Nikolas Lyhne-Knudsen

Danish National Lottery operator Danske Spil has joined four other betting and gaming stakeholders in the country in investing funds into a university research programme.

The Danish Gambling Committee (DGC), part of the Research Clinic for Gambling at Aarhus University, will conduct research into prevention and treatment of problem gambling, backed by a DKK 12m (€1.6m) fund from the five companies.

A three-year plan will see the DGC commence research projects this year, striving to collect knowledge of gambling, particularly with regards to children and young people.

In addition to Danske Spil, online casinos CEGO A/S and Mr Green and bookmakers Kindred Group and Betsson AB have also joined the funding initiative.

To support the initiative, DKK 12m (€1.6m) has been pledged by betting firms Kindred Group and Betsson AB, online casinos CEGO A/S and Mr Green, the latter part of 888 Holdings, and Danske Spil, the Danish National Lottery.

Kate Jacquerot, Danske Spil’s Legal Director for Responsible Gambling, said: “We are very happy to be part of the Danish Gambling Committee and support independent research and contribute to the establishment of a professionally strong Danish research environment with a focus on countering gambling addiction.

“It is absolutely essential that we gain new and better knowledge about how we can best prevent and take care of gambling addiction, so that we can develop the right responsibility measures, where the protection of young people in particular is an important focus area.”

From its HQ at Aarhus University – the founding location of Mindway AI prior to its acquisition by Better Collective – the DGC will be headed by Thomas Marcussen.

Marcussen will conduct day–to-day management of the programme and its research projects, and will maintain leading oversight as a permanent member of the Committee Board.

Also represented on the Board are the University of Copenhagen, the University of Southern Denmark, the Aarhus University Hospital and Aalborg University.

For Danske Spil, the cash injection into the DGC marks a continuation of its cooperation with the Research Clinic, following the development of its Gambling Scanner, used to identify signs of ‘unhealthy behaviour’ among the lottery’s customers.

Jacquerot continued: “We have previously benefited greatly from the work of the Research Clinic, among other things we have improved and developed new accountability initiatives based on conclusions from last year’s study, which Thomas Marcussen and his team are behind, and which was financed by Danske Spil. 

“And we know that our many measures are working, because we have significantly reduced the group of customers we are most concerned about.”

Moving forward, Danske Spil explained that the DGC aims to use the DKK 12m funding to support research into gambling. The funding will be awarded by an impartial grant committee of researchers, with the companies working in a follow up group.

Research into problem gambling has increased in Denmark over the past year, as has industry, regulatory and government support of such initiatives. In April, the Danish government announced DKK 10m (€1.3m) between 2023-2025 into research and treatment.

Marcussen concluded: “It is important and gratifying that Danske Spil, with whom we already have a good collaboration, will contribute to funding gambling addiction research at a high level in Denmark. 

“It is the ambition that this is the seed for the establishment of a professionally solid research environment, which in the years to come can provide knowledge to help those addicted to gambling and to avoid more people getting to the point where gambling is no longer just entertainment.”