Danish Betting Growth Fuelled By World Cup

Danish sports-betting revenue reached an all-time high in the second quarter after a successful football World Cup paid off for the country’s licensed operators.

Danish sports-betting revenue reached an all-time high in the second quarter after a successful
football World Cup paid off for the country’s licensed operators.

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) for online and offline sports betting in the Nordic country spiked at DKK445m (€60m), an increase of 33 percent when compared with the same period last year.

The Danish Gambling Authority confirmed the growth was driven by the football World Cup which took place in Brazil in June and July.  But GGR from online casino was also the highest since the opening of the Danish market in January 2012. 

Revenue for online casino ticked up by 8 percent to DKK270m (€36m), consistent with growth seen in recent quarters. But the popularity of online poker continues to decline in Denmark and GGR fell 20 percent to DKK40m (€5m). 

Revenue for the total Danish market was DKK715m (€96m), an increase of 22 percent compared with the second quarter of 2013.

The number of operators has remained at 31 since the opening of the market and together they now hold 15 licences to operate sports betting and 29 for online casino. Ten of the operators that offer online casino in Denmark generated GGR of more than DKK25m in the second quarter, while another ten reported GGR of between DKK5 and DKK255m.

Since the opening of the market, former monopoly Danske Spil has kept its dominant position and is believed to hold around 60 percent of the of the market. At the end of June, Danske Spil acquired 60 percent of CEGO, the company behind spilnu.dk, one of the market leaders of online casino. 

Danske Spil told GamblingCompliance at the time that online casino had been an area where the operator had not been strong enough and added that it thinks the segment will continue to grow.  The acquisition will strengthen Danske Spil’s position further in an already competitive market and Thomas Rørsig, head of communications at Danske Spil, said the operator will “keep an eye on the market” for any further acquisitions in the future.

At the beginning of July, Danske Spil conceded it had made its biggest payout ever after Germany’s 7-1 win against Brazil in the semi-final of the World Cup resulted in it dishing out more than DKK8m (€1m) to punters. But Danske Spil said before the World Cup started that it was expecting turnover to increase 45 percent to DKK400m (€54m) compared with the World Cup in South Africa four years ago.

Stockholm-listed Unibet, which has also reported second-quarter numbers, has a strong presence in Denmark and confirmed its growth was driven by a successful World Cup which “provided a significant new all-time high in customer activity”.
Good news was not confined to the online sector, however. Gross gaming revenue for Denmark’s seven land-based casinos increased 6 percent to DKK85m (€11m), the first time in five consecutive quarters that revenue has exceeded the year before.