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Denmark: More Applications than Expected

In September the European Commission (EC) brushed off complaints that taxing online operators at a lower rate than land-based rivals would be in breach of EU State Aid rules. The decision followed a nine month investigation into whether the flat 20% gross gaming revenue (GGR) tax for online operators would provide them with an unfair advantage over brick-and-mortar casinos who pay up to 71% GGR.

With the EC’s blessing, Denmark’s online gambling market will open on January 1, 2012. A 20% gross gaming revenue tax, broad product range and the ability to tap into international liquidity is attracting Europe’s leading operators.

Denmark has received more than twice the expected number of applications for licenses ahead of the market opening on January 1, the Danish Gambling Authority has told eGaming Review.

A total of 68 licence applications from 43 operators were received by the Danish regulatory body on October 17, the submission deadline.

“We closed the licence application process at the beginning of this week expecting around 20 to 25 applications at most,” the Danish Gambling Authority told eGaming Review. “But we have received a huge number and are going through them as quickly as possible in time to announce them on our website in December.”

According to the regulatory body, of the 43 operators, 25 have applied for both an online casino and sports betting licence, while 22 have applied only for an online casino licence. No operator has applied only for a sports betting licence.

Last week Sportingbet announced the acquisition of two Danish sports betting firms—Danbook and Scandic Bookmakers—for up to £8.5 million. The deal, expected to be completed by early 2012, will boost the London-headquartered company’s sports betting, poker and casino businesses ahead of the regulated market opening next year.

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