New numbers from the Danish Gambling Authority shows the effects of new Danish gambling regulation that went into effect on January 1, 2020. For the first time in the eight years since the market became regulated the total gross gaming revenue from online casinos in Denmark has declined in Q1 compared to the previous year. The decline is moderate at 1% to 74 million Euros for the quarter, but this compares to an average increase of 16% over the previous seven years.

The new gambling regulation included initiatives to limit problem gambling like the requirement for every player to set a personal limit and new labelling requirements for ads. Most significant for the player, however, are the new rules regulating the conditions the casinos can set when giving out bonusses. For the first time there are now limits to the amount of play the casino can demand before the players can cash out their winnings, and that is good news for the players.

Bonuses tilts house edge in favor of players

With the new rules, a casino bonus must always be free or exactly 100% of the deposit, and the maximum playthrough requirement that can be imposed on the player is 10 times the sum of the bonus and deposit. With online slots paying back up to 97% of the wagered amount to the player, the player will sit back with an average profit of 40 DKK out of ever 100 DKK she deposited once this playthrough requirement has been met.

“There is nothing stopping players from going from casino to casino accepting all their welcome offers and withdrawing their winnings as soon as the wagering requirement has been met”, says Jens Hokka, owner of, a leading casino portal in Denmark that has helped players learning optimal gaming strategy since 2001. “They may lose their deposit at 2 out of 3 casinos due to the high velocity in the slots, but the winnings at the third casino will more than make up for the losses in the others.”

The rules apply to both new player bonusses and retention bonusses, and it means that especially retention bonusses has become much more attractive than they used to. For free spin promotions the rules are even more attractive to the players, as there can be no wagering requirements on free spins winnings – if a player wins a big prize, it can be withdrawn immediately.

Casinos see first decline in eight years

The combination of new rules limiting the losses of players, and rules making bonusses more attractive and potentially profitable for the players has causes the gross gaming revenue from the online casino sector in Denmark to decline in Q1 for the first time since the gaming law of 2012 made the number publicly available.

“It seems like the rules have had the effect they were designed to have”, says Jens Hokka, “it has become a safer environment where players gets a cool-down period when the lose more than they planned to. At the same time, the casinos will probably have happier customers when players do not have the negative experience of having their winnings removed because they broke some complicated bonus rules. The casinos are good at adjusting, and this small setback is probably a one-time thing until they learn do navigate the new rules. In the meantime, the players get all the advantages.”

The number of calls to the official help line for problem gambling, StopSpillet, declined 31% in Q1 compared to the same period in 2019 underscoring the success of the changes so far.

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