Guide on lotteries at pubs
The Danish Gambling Authority has been made aware that several pubs offer different types of lotteries. As lottery is monopolised in Denmark except for charity lotteries, the Danish Gambling Authority seek to specify the rules on provision of land-based lotteries with this newsletter.
Small lotteries in pubs and similar establishments
The lotteries observed in pubs are of various compositions. Among these is for example “beer-scratch-cards”, where the player buys a scratch-card with the chance of winning a beer. Another popular type of lottery that has been observed is a game in which the player buys one or more “numbers” and at a specified day and time, there is a draw for the pool prize. The prize in this type of game depends on the number of participants and whether the pool is won the previous weeks. Most of the lotteries observed have prize sizes ranging from DKK 500 to DKK 5,000.
It appears from section 3 of the Danish Gambling Act that provision of gambling services and products requires a licence from the Danish Gambling Authority when the following conditions are met:
- the participants must pay a stake to participate in the game,
- the participants have a chance of winning a prize, and
- the activity includes a bet or a game, in which the chance of winning a prize solely depends on chance or depends on a combination of skill and chance.
All three conditions must be met for the game to require a licence from the Danish Gambling Authority.
The cases that fall outside the requirement of a licence are games without a stake, games taking place at private gatherings, and charity lotteries held in closed clubs or associations. Games covered by the Executive Order on public amusements (bekendtgørelse om offentlige forlystelser) which thereby have the permission of the police fall outside the Danish gambling legislation. Games at private gatherings cover low-stake gambling as entertainment for oneself and one’s family or a small group of friends.
The crucial factor for games taking place at private gatherings is thereby not the size of the stake or prize alone, but the select group of people that may participate as well as the way the lottery is arranged.
The Danish Gambling Authority assess that several of the lotteries at pubs are open for the public to participate in, and consequently, the game is covered by the requirement of a licence pursuant to the Danish Gambling Act. Due to the monopoly on lottery, a licence to offer lottery cannot be issued unless the lottery is a charity lottery. Read more about the specific rules on charity lotteries below.
Specific rules on charity lotteries?
Associations, institutions, organisations and committees can hold charity lotteries.
Private individuals and businesses cannot hold charity lotteries. In addition, lotteries benefitting for example individual persons or political purposes are not allowed.
- Notification – no later than 14 days before the lottery is to be held.
Associations and organisations must notify the Danish Gambling Authority of a charity lottery when the total selling price is DKK 20,000 or less.
- Application for licence – no later than four weeks before the lottery is to be held.
Institutions and committees must always apply for a licence from the Danish Gambling Authority to hold a charity lottery.
Associations and organisations must apply for a licence from the Danish Gambling Authority to hold a charity lottery when the total selling price is DKK 20,000 or more or at the third notification in the same calendar year.
- Charity lotteries, in which only members of the association can participate
Closed clubs or closed associations that hold charity lotteries that only members of the association and their relatives can participate, must neither notify of nor apply to the Danish Gambling Authority for a licence to hold a charity lottery.