Denmark’s Gambling Authority unsure of ID-impacts on retail gambling

Spillemyndigheden, Denmark’s Gambling Authority, published its ‘Game Consumption Report’ stating that land-based gaming venues experienced a decline in bets volume towards the end of 2023. 

Data highlighted by the paper reports that land-based betting activity for November dropped to 15.5% from the 27.27% in October. 

Overall, the market’s entire gross gaming revenue (GGR) from sports betting in October fell from September’s strong estimates of DKK 184m (£21.1m) to around DKK 52m (£5.9m) – a 76% decline on corresponding results. 

Though yet to be specified, it is suggested that the notable drop of engagement in the fourth quarter of 2023 might be related to what is now known as the ‘Safe Play’ cards – a form of ID verification first introduced by Denmark’s national lottery Danske Spil.

Back in 2019, the Danish operator brought the idea to light as a method to limit underage gambling and money laundering in the country by rolling out physical and electronic ID cards to its network of retail locations, slowly creating a mandatory account-based system for partner kiosks, supermarkets and petrol stations by 2020

The project was then picked up by a significant political force which in 2021 mandated the Danish parliament for a country-wide adoption of the cards, backing the Ministry of Taxation. 

Morten Bødskov, the then Minister of Taxation, commented at the time“There is a need to tighten the rules in the gaming area. Many Danes – especially young men – have problems with gambling, and this often has major consequences for themselves, their future and their families.

“That is why we have agreed with a broad majority of the parliamentary parties to launch a playing card. It is a targeted bet, as this is where the problems with gambling addiction are greatest.”

Despite an initial target launch designated for 1 July 2022, the law didn’t come into force until 1 October 2023 when it also implemented the recent upgrades to Denmark’s self-exclusion scheme ROFUS, fully preventing banned players from being served by betting operators due to the new ID requirements.  

Regardless, Spillemyndigheden has maintained that at this point it is too early to either confirm or deny that the introduction of the ID laws is directly linked to the drop in retail betting in Q4 ‘23. 

“In the first two months after the introduction of the Player ID, the spending on the land-based betting market was lower compared to before the introduction of the Player ID. However, it is too early to conclude whether the decrease is due to the Player ID”, the regulator said in a statement.