More bingo games held without licence during Coronavirus crisis
Over the past month, the Danish Gambling Authority has seen an increase in bingo events, for example via Facebook or as drive-in events. When money is required to participate in this type of game, it is not legal. This is because the events do not have a licence from the Danish Gambling Authority.
These days, many Danes remain at home due to the current Covid-19 situation, and this is presumably the reason why an increasing number of private organisers have come up with the idea of offering bingo events either online or as drive-in bingo where the participants sit in their cars.
Many of the events are held because, in the current circumstances, the organisers are unable to hold otherwise planned events, or because they wish to create a sense of unity, particularly in local communities.
“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,” says Morten Niels Jakobsen, Director of the Danish Gambling Authority. However, when holding bingo games where a deposit is required in order to participate and you can win a prize, it is covered by the Act on Gambling’s licence requirements. In such cases, this means that it is illegal to offer online and drive-in bingo without a licence from the Danish Gambling Authority”, says Morten Niels Jakobsen.
Special rules apply to associations and organisations that want to hold a charity lottery or bingo game. In this case, it may cost money to participate as the profit goes to charitable purposes. Organisers of charity lotteries or bingo games must always obtain a licence from the Danish Gambling Authority.
The purpose of the Act on Gambling and the requirement for a licence is to ensure that gambling is offered in a fair, responsible and transparent manner, with a focus on protecting players, including the protection of problem gamblers and minors.
“If organisers are in any doubt about whether a bingo event is legal, they are always welcome to contact us”, says Linda Lomborg, Head of Responsible Gambling and Charity Lotteries at the Danish Gambling Authority. “Our employees are ready to guide the organisers to ensure that bingo and lotteries comply with the existing rules.”