Danish Government Suspends Internet Gambling

The Danish government has suspended all online gambling operations for the time being until the so called “black period” has passed.  In the mean time Betsson is uncertain whether or not to apply for a gaming license in Denmark.

The Chief Executive,  Pontus Lindwall of Betsson AB has voiced his concern in an interview with eGR over the so called ‘black period’ and said that his Company has informed the European Commission that such a rule is in direct conflict with EU law.”

The Danish parliament has promulgated a draft last June that okayed the “black period”; the reason for the implementation of this was to safeguard Danske Spil from foreign gaming exploitation.  Those operators who don’t possess any licenses IP ranges will be monitored by censures implemented in the draft also contains provisions for IP and payments blocking against unlicensed operators.

Irrespective of the issuing off licenses delay until October 11 in Denmark, the European Commission (EC) review of the draft period ends.   Effectively the Danish government could decide to impose the “black period” from this date in the event EC not veto this section of the bill. Ladbrokes, Bet24 and Centrebet have stipulated their intentions and to remain in the Danish internet casino gaming seen and applied for licenses.

Lindwall stated: “That the tax bracket for online casino vendors is extremely high and he believes that as a result of the increasingly high tax margins in the country the interests of casino vendors would be protected from unlicensed operators.  Betsson sees it as a very complex system and has it set of challenges.”

Chief Operating Officer Thomas Petersen of Bet24, also applied for its gaming license said that although their annual fees are 20% higher than normal he also sees the high tax bracket as a positive aspect that will safeguard licensed casino vendors from their unlicensed counterparts.”

Peterson said: “This issue is a bone of contention and the Danish Gaming Authority is still awaiting feedback from the EU Commission. That said; Danish consumers will not benefit from internet casino operators without a licence-they must be prohibited from entering the Danish market or we’ll take our business somewhere else.”

Ladbrokes’ Richardt Funch Nordic country manager for Denmark feels that should the Danish government press on and introduced IP blocking and the black period, Danish punters might be left in the cold with no casino and no poker in the interim, “since Danske Spill don’t offer this.”

Lindwall at Betsson mentioned it’s pointless to keep certain products, such as lottery, horse race bets, bingo, scratch cards and keno, within the sole remit of Danske Spil, which has been put forward under the current new law of the EC.

“Under normal circumstances the Ministry of Finance champion’s player protection and certain games are kept within the fold because of financial implications. Lindwall pointed out that it’s in direct contravention to EU law.”

Recent Danish reports indicated that the Danish Gambling Board agreed to let licensed poker operators exploit international liquidity until the market’ inception in 2011.



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