Denmark and the Netherland Rattle Regulatory Sabers

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Increased interest in bingo activities in Denmark and the Netherlands has prompted regulators to issue a warning to parties hosting such activities.

Increase in Unlicensed Bingo Games Observed in Denmark and the Netherland

Amid Denmark’s lockdown, enforced as a measure against COVID-19, Spillemyndigheden, the Danish Gambling regulator, detected an increase in unlicensed bingo games.

Similar to Denmark, the Netherlands has observed increased traffic for online bingo games. The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), which is the country’s gambling regulator, announced on Friday, May 1, that it had received “many more reports about online bingos than before the corona crisis”.

The Spillemyndigheden director Morten Niels Jakobsen commented on the subject cited by iGamingBusiness:

We certainly understand that at this particular time, there is a great desire to unite people through enjoyable entertainment such as bingo games, which is a game that can easily be adapted to the current requirements to keep distance“.

Although the regulator was aware that private games between friends were happening, the regulator discussed cases where people play for money or run bingo rooms for personal gain.

Jakobsen explained that if a game involved profit or a financial prize, and a deposit was required to participate, the host of the game must have a license from the regulator to run the activity.

This is not a restrictive measure, Jakobsen explained, but rather a matter of compliance with the Danish Act on Gambling.

Spillemyndigheden Strikes Again

When gambling was legalized in Denmark in 2012, the country’s regulator began hunting for unapproved gambling websites. In light of the lockdown, Spillemyndigheden has stepped its efforts in clamping down on unregulated operators targeting Danish players. In March, the regulator sought to block 17 illegal gambling websites, 16 of which were suspended last week. The 17th operated had opted out of the country voluntarily.

This is not the first time the Danish Gaming Authority has won a case against illegal gambling operators. Back in 2018, Danish telecoms were ordered to block 24 gaming websites following a court case won by Spillemyndigheden. Among the banned sites were seven skin betting sites, two online sportsbooks and seven online casinos.

With the latest move, the number of gambling websites that have been suspended in Denmark has reached 90.

Bingos Warned by the Danish Regulator

Given recent events and increased interest in online bingo, the Danish Gambling Authority has issued a warning to avoid running games where a prize or deposit involved. For such games to take place, each organizer will have to go through the process of obtaining a license from the regulator.

Linda Lomborg, Head of Responsible Gambling and Charity Lotteries at the Danish Gambling Authority commented, cited by iGamingBusiness: “If organizers are in any doubt about whether a bingo event is legal, they are always welcome to contact us“.

She continued that the regulator’s employees can guide bingo event organizers in order to make sure that they comply with the rules and regulations.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands, KSA acknowledged an increase in bingo activities. The regulator noted that many games were organized by people with “good hearts,” granting those parties temporary leniency with regards to obtaining a license. However, any activities organized with the specific purpose of personal gain or scamming people would prompt KSA to act swiftly, the regulator concluded.

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