New agreement: Horse race betting to be liberalised

31, Jan 2017

Press release issued by the Ministry of Taxation on 27 January 2017.

A majority in the Danish Parliament has decided to liberalise a number of current monopoly games in order to attract more operators in the future. A liberalisation may also increase the interest in horse racing.
Several of the smaller current monopoly games will be liberalised from 1 January 2018. This has been decided by a broad political majority in the framework of an agreement on the so-called distribution funds (External link to the agreement in Danish.)
One of the games is horse betting, of which Danske Spil currently holds a monopoly. With the new agreement, other game providers will also have the opportunity to offer the Danes a bet on the outcome of horse racing. At the same time, the liberalisation is expected to increase the interest in horse racing.
Interest and turnover on horse racing has decreased since 2007, and an evaluation has shown that the current model - where Danske Spil holds a monopoly - has not been able to maintain the interest in the bets. On the contrary, it has had a negative impact on the horse racing sport.
"As a Minister for Taxation representing the Danish Liberals, it is always a pleasure when one may help liberalising parts of society. We now continue the line, which already works successfully in other areas of the gambling market – that is, creating more competition while ensuring responsible limits for the offering of the games. This is common sense and will benefit all players, including the horse sports, "says Minister for Taxation, Karsten Lauritzen.
Simultaneously, the Danish Parliament has decided to introduce a special contribution of 8 per cent. of the sales on horse race betting. This money will be spent on initiatives that may increase the interest in horse sports. After a transitional period, the subsidies currently granted horse racing will be phased out. These subsidies come from surplus at stake - the so-called distribution funds.
Other minor monopoly games such as dog and pigeon racing will also be liberalised.
Also online bingo, which is currently a monopoly game, is to be liberalised. It is estimated that the real online bingo market is three times the size of the official market. By liberalising online bingo, the games from the unregulated market games will be channelled into the well-regulated Danish market, including protection of the players and measures to prevent gambling addiction. 
With the liberalisation of the new markets, it is mandatory that all gambling takes place in a fair, responsible and transparent manner. For instance, players must have access to the Danish Gambling Authority’s self-exclusion system “ROFUS”, (Register Over Self-Excluded Players.)