Denmark’s land-based betting figures trend upwards

By Charlotte Lee Updated
Danish regulator bans record number of illegal gambling sites

Against global trends, Denmark’s online casino and betting markets experienced a third quarter decline as retail sites reopened following closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Calvin Ayre reposts that figures released last Friday by Denmark’s regulatory agency show locally licensed gambling operators generated US$244.2 million in the three months ending September 30, a 4.9 per cent decline from the same period last year, but a significant improvement on what was generated in the second quarter.

Land-based casinos were the only vertical to post annual growth in the quarter, a health six per cent rise.

Real money online casino revenue slipped nearly two per cent, with slots accounting for 74 per cent of this sum, up 1.6 per cent year-on-year.

Roulette claimed nearly 10 per cent, while blackjack took a seven per cent slice.

Desktop computers continue to fall out of favour with casino players, falling 4.5 points year-on-year to 40.4 per cent in terms of stakes.

The third quarter casino revenue declined 17.5 per cent, adding to claims that Danish gamblers weren’t freaking out and gambling away their money due to pandemic lockdown boredom.

Sports betting took the biggest hit during the quarter, down 11 per cent.

Digital channels accounted for nearly two-thirds of all betting revenue, with mobile’s share coming in at more than 50 per cent.

These proportions underwent only modest revision last year, but desktop’s share was less than half its quarter 2 total, likely reflecting the reopening of land-based betting halls following the pandemic lockdown.

Denmark’s problem gambling self-exclusion program had 24,321 names on its register as of September, up from 19,785 at this point last year, but only around 850 more from the end of the second quarter.

The end of the third quarter saw the start of the staggered rollout of the state’s run Safe Play player ID system for all its land-based gambling options.

The system has now been installed across the country, so as of this week, players looking to gamble will have to present either their physical Game ID or the mobile app version.

Fitch downgrades Crown’s rating as controversy plagues casino operator 

Crown Resorts has been placed on negative watch by Fitch ratings agency after months of controversy and a combative AGM, amid a New South Wales government inquiry into the operators’ suitability to hold a casino licence in New South Wales.

Fitch revised the outlook on Crown to negative from stable following the announcement that two more regulatory inquiries have been opened into its operations and compliance with regulations, including anti-money laundering provisions have been called into question.

The negative outlook reflects weaknesses in Crown’s governance structure that were revealed during an inquiry in New South Wales, as well as the risks to Crown’s operations and financial profile from potential outcomes of the various inquiries, which could include fines, changes in operating conditions and regulations, or changes to or loss of licences.

Fitch would consider downgrading Crown’s rating should the regulators impose onerous regulatory conditions or fines or penalties that have a significant impact on the company’s business or financial profile, it said.

Crown would be able to absorb around A$800 million in fines or penalties such that its financial profile remained consistent with its rating.

If this were to materialise, Fitch said it would be among the largest fines imposed on a corporate in Australia.

Alternatively, the most severe regulatory action would be loss of licence, which Fitch believes to be a low probability event and hence have captured the risks under the negative outlook.

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