Online Casinos Outstrip Sports Betting in Denmark for the First Time

The Growth of Online Casinos in Denmark

Denmark has been one of Europe’s key markets for both physical and online gambling providers for almost a decade. Since January 1, 2012, gambling in Denmark has been regulated by the Danish Gambling Act — a piece of legislation designed to modernize the country’s gambling industry and provide a fairer and more transparent deal for gamblers in the Scandinavian nation.

The act has certainly been successful, and the liberalization of the market has reduced the association between gambling and darker elements, such as organized crime. This has also made it easy for reputable gambling providers to make inroads into a potentially lucrative environment and leverage the steadily growing levels of disposable income in the country.

A Shifting Market Post-COVID

Changes to gambling regulations nine years ago have also paved the way for a significant shift in the market during the coronavirus lockdown. Online gambling has surged in Denmark, and online casinos reported record levels of revenue in the first quarter of 2021. Posted revenues of DKK 717 million ($113.29 million) in this quarter represented an enormous leap of 28.7% on Q1 of 2020.

This meant that online gambling and sports betting surged ahead of physical casinos in Denmark. While Danish lockdown measures were markedly less severe than those experienced elsewhere across Europe and the rest of the world, physical casinos took a major hit due to social distancing regulations. For the first time in history, online gambling revenues outstripped those of physical casinos in Denmark.

A Reduction in Revenues Across the Whole Gambling Industry

It’s not all good news for the Danish gambling industry, however. Despite the meteoric rise of online casinos and sports betting, the gambling market was shaken to its core by the events of 2020. Full-year figures from 2020 show a 6.1% fall in overall gambling revenue compared to the full term of 2019, as the market shrank by DKK 600 million ($94.86 million) to DKK 9,173 million ($1,449.33 million).

As the gambling industry continues to reel from the effects of the last 18 months, it looks certain that it will be the digital sector that leads the way toward recovery. While it may be true that the buoyancy of the online market has not proved quite enough to bolster the broader market in the first two quarters of this year, the excellent levels of growth provide encouragement for Denmark’s gambling providers and international firms operating within the country.

A Competitive Future for Denmark’s Physical and Online Gambling Firms

Physical casinos and betting operators will need to diversify their approaches to steady the ship for the remainder of 2021 and beyond. This will lead to increased competition for the existing players in the digital market, which may mean that these companies will also need to become increasingly savvy and strategic to navigate the new landscape. But one thing’s for sure — an increasingly dynamic and competitive market is good news for Denmark’s gambling customers.

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