On January 1st 2012 Denmark introduced a new law to regulate online gambling, allowing operators from all over the world to offer games in Denmark legally and thus ended the monopoly that the partially state-owned Danske Spil had for many years.
To operate legally in Denmark the sites simply need to purchase a license for around €30,000 and pay taxes on the revenues accordingly with the rules. Many of the biggest casino, poker and sports betting sites did just this, including Pokerstars, Bet365, Ladbrokes and many more.
For poker players in Denmark this was a great thing, as the grey area of making a living out of poker had now disappeared and they wouldn’t even have to pay taxes on their winnings, as it would be paid out of the rake from the sites.
But despite this, a new report from the Danish Online Gambling Association (DOGA) shows that 27% of poker players regularly plays online poker on a site not regulated in Denmark, which is quite a high number.
The twist here is that it is not illegal for Danish poker players to play on sites not regulated in Denmark and depending on their license, the players won’t even have to pay any taxes on their winnings. It is however illegal for online poker sites without a license to accept Danish players, but there is no way of checking these things for the Danish gambling authority.
The report also stated that 19% of the total revenue for the players playing on unregulated and regulated sites ends up on the unregulated sites. This means that a ton of money is going out of the country and that the Danish state doesn’t get any taxes on these money as they should.
“The examination supports the conclusion of the previous examination, that the black market in Denmark is a reality. The amount of Danish players playing on black market sites is not that high, but the revenues they create there are quite high” Morten Rønde, Chief Executive at DOGA said.
“We have to take this issue seriously. We have to find out why so many players continue to play on unregulated sites and what we can do to encourage these players to play on the regulated Danish sites instead.” Rønde added.
One of the answers to this could be that the sites available are more reg infested than the smaller networks that are not available. It could also have something to do with the rakeback and bonus offerings that Danish players are being given, which can be the difference between winning and losing for some players.