Spillemyndigheden, Denmark’s gambling regulator has inspected about 4,000 slot machines since 2019. The regulator reported 255 instances of suspicious activity to the police.
The Regulator Reported Slots Fraud to the Police
The authority has to constantly inspect the 23,000 slot machines active in the country. This is done to ensure the integrity of gambling and prevent any fraud from taking place. In the last few years, however, Spillemyndigheden’s work was impaired by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Despite the hurdles, the authority managed to check 4,000 machines between 2019 and 2021. During that period, it reported 255 suspicious cases to the police – 126 in 2019, 83 in 2020 and 46 in 2021. Many reports did not actually concern the machines themselves and were related to other problems, such as an operator allowing minors to play. Additionally, the Spillemyndigheden reported instances of venues without staff present in the hall. There were certain machines that provided unlicensed games as well.
The gambling authority emphasized that it is important to report cases of incompliance to the police, especially when operators allow kids to play. In total, the compliance checks have led to over $70,000 of fines.
Denmark’s Slots Industry Recovers from the Pandemic
Usually, operators in Denmark have to pay $96 for each slot machine on the premises of their venues. The fees are paid to the regulator, and an additional 41% is paid to Denmark’s Tax Agency. If slot machines earn more than a certain threshold, their operators are required to pay an extra tax.
However, this happened somewhat more rarely in the past few years because slots had to compete with online gambling. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced many bettors to the digital vertical, as retail shops were forced to close for long periods of time.
Land-based casinos aren’t the only vertical that has been affected by COVID and the changing trends. A report from two months ago showed that sports betting is on the decline. According to official figures from Q4 of the 2021 fiscal year, the gross gaming revenue earned by sportsbooks was 18% lower than in 2020. The Q4 report demonstrated that interest in slots and live-based casinos is rebounding. The sector is experiencing a strong recovery as Q4 earnings far surpassed those from 2020.
As the industry heals from the damages, the Spillemyndigheden needs to constantly intervene and make sure that its licensees remain compliant. In February, the regulator successfully blocked 55 unlicensed gambling sites from providing their offerings to bettors in the country. Still, there is a lot more work to be done.