Record crackdown: Danish Gambling Authority blocks 83 illegal sites

Lea Hogg 1 month ago
Record crackdown: Danish Gambling Authority blocks 83 illegal sites

The Danish Gambling Authority, Spillemyndigheden, has recently blocked access to 83 illegal gambling websites, marking a significant step in its ongoing efforts to regulate the country’s gambling industry. This action represents the tenth time the Authority has sought such a court order since it assumed responsibility for the industry.

The court in Næstved concurred with the Authority’s assessment that all 83 sites had violated the law by offering gambling opportunities without the necessary licenses.

“Doubling Down on Illegal Gambling” Anders Dorph, the Director of Spillemyndigheden, stated that the Authority has ramped up its efforts to shut down illegal sites.

The goal is to block these sites twice a year instead of once, as was previously the case. This strategy aims to seize more sites and reduce the duration that Danish players are exposed to illegally offered games. Since Spillemyndigheden assumed authority in 2012, it has blocked a total of 359 websites. Despite it only being February, this recent ruling breaks the record for the most websites blocked in a single year, surpassing the previous record of 82 sites blocked in 2022.

Spillemyndigheden’s ongoing battle against illegal gambling

Dorph emphasized that children and young people are particularly vulnerable. Many of the illegal websites have lax age verification requirements, and some offer games that specifically appeal to this demographic, such as skin betting. Of the 83 blocked sites, eight were skin betting sites, where customers can deposit money for the chance to win video game cosmetics. In a further effort to protect young people, the Authority launched an educational campaign for under-18s, called “The One-Armed Bandit”. Before any business is taken to court by Spillemyndigheden, the Authority first contacts the operator to explain the issues and request rectification.

Legal proceedings are only initiated once these attempts have proven unsuccessful. This record-breaking crackdown underscores the Authority’s commitment to safeguarding Danish players and maintaining the integrity of the country’s gambling industry.

European efforts to clamp down on illegal online gambling

In the ever-evolving landscape of online gaming, European jurisdictions stand resolute in their commitment to responsible gambling. These regulatory bodies are keenly aware of the need to strike a balance between entertainment and player protection. 

For example, Malta, home to a thriving gaming industry, exemplifies this dedication. The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has been unwavering in its pursuit of illegal gambling operators. By explicitly naming and warning 18 unauthorized websites within its jurisdiction recently, including domains like 24casino1.bet, 24pokies.com, and 4crownscasino.com, the MGA reinforces its mission: to uphold the integrity of Malta’s gaming sector and enforce stringent regulatory standards. As the sector becomes increasingly regulated, players can engage in safe and responsible gambling, knowing that their interests are safeguarded by vigilant authorities. 

At the start of 2019, Italy also took a significant step by banning almost all gambling marketing. The “Decreto Dignità” (Dignity Decree) prohibited TV, radio, press, and internet gambling marketing. This move was prompted by a study that revealed 3 percent of the Italian population was suffering from gambling-related harms.

In 2018, Portugal and Luxembourg dismantled a major illegal online gambling operation that had been operating since 2015 across several EU Member States and internationally. Thirty people were arrested, 29 in Portugal and 1 in Luxembourg. Additionally, 14 commercial companies faced criminal charges related to their involvement in the scheme.

These collective efforts across Europe demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding players and maintaining the integrity of the online gambling industry.

————-Stop Press: The next SiGMA Africa Summit takes place in Cape Town between 11-13 March !  SiGMA Africa event kicks off in Cape Town, South Africa on the 11 March. Building on the success of its inaugural edition in Nairobi, Kenya, in January 2023, SiGMA Group recognizes the need to foster collaboration and innovation within the industry.

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