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Danish court sides with regulator in illegal bingo row

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Copenhagen’s City Court has ruled in favour of gambling regulator Spillemyndigheden in a dispute with a local association over illegal bingo and banko.

During a control visit in 2019, Denmark’s regulator found that the unnamed association had been offering bingo and banko games illegally for its members on a daily basis for a number of years.

Spillemyndigheden said bingo and banko were the primary purpose of the association and was in breach of national laws. As such, the case was reported to the police.

Denmark currently has a monopoly on lotteries, including bingo and banko games, with the exception of lotteries and similar games that are non-profit and for the benefit of a good cause. The regulator said this was not the case with the association.

The case was heard yesterday (8 May), during which the court agreed with the regulator’s findings and ordered the association to pay a fine of DKK15,000 (£1,752/€2,014/$2,213).

The court also said the association should have an estimated DKK5.0m confiscated as part of the ruling.

Problem gambling

The case comes after Denmark’s government last month committed an additional DKK30m to address problem gambling in the country over the next three years.

Between 2023 and 2025, DKK10m will be released each year by Denmark to support problem gambling ongoing efforts and projects, with recent research having suggested that almost 500,000 Danes suffer from problem gambling in some form.

The first DKK10m will be spent on initiatives targeting children and young people, as well as for further research into gambling addiction.

Also last month, Spillemyndigheden took responsibility for Anti-Doping Denmark’s national anti-match fixing platform. The regulator will now oversee for StopMatchfixing, a service which allows individuals anonymously to report instances of suspected match-fixing.   

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