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Danish Online Gambling Market To Open Up


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Online gamblers in Denmark, as well as leading online gambling operators, will
be over the moon with the news that the country has been given the go ahead from
the European Commission (EC) to establish a domestic online gambling market.

According the EC ruling, which paved the way for a Danish online gambling
market
, the way in which Denmark intends to license and regulate its online
gambling industry should act as a template for other countries in Europe
interested in regulating their online gaming markets.

Denmark received the green light even after the EC conducted an investigation
into complaints about its plan to introduce a lower tax rate for online casinos
than that currently levied on the country’s land casinos. The complaints were
logged by existing Danish gambling operators, who claimed that the lower tax
rate amounted to ‘state aid.’

According to the country’s Gaming Duties Act, online casino and other online
gambling operators would only be required to pay 20 percent in taxes, compared
to the considerably higher 75 percent in taxes levied on existing land casinos
in Denmark.

Danish Online Gambling liberalisation is Positive

However, the EC dismissed the complaints, saying that a lower tax rate for
Denmark online gambling operators was in line with European Union directives,
and that ‘the positive effects of the liberalisation of the [Danish online
gambling] market outweigh the distortions of competition brought about by the
measure.’

The ruling was welcomed by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) –
the European trade association which represents licensed online gambling
operators – which said that the reasons were valid why the tax rates differed
between land and online gambling operators.

Explained RGA representative, Clive Hawkswood, ‘In essence, land-based
operations compete within physical national boundaries, whereas online companies
are part of a highly-competitive international environment, and fiscal policy
should be set accordingly.’

‘Obviously, this has implications for other jurisdictions and their fiscal
policies, both those that have opened their markets and those that are planning
to do so in the near future,’ he said.

But the ruling was met with criticism from the European Lotteries, Europe’s
umbrella body for national lotteries, which accused the EC of placing more
importance on online gambling liberalisation than ‘the substantial risk for
gambling addiction.’

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