Denmark Lost Interest in Sports Betting as 2021 Came to a Close New Report Shows

Posted on: March 21, 2022, 08:30h. 

Last updated on: March 21, 2022, 12:25h.

Last week, Denmark’s gambling regulator, Spillemyndigheden, issued a quarterly report for the final quarter of 2021. The country’s gaming industry took a 3.9% year-on-year dip, with sports betting dropping the most.

Copenhagen, Denmark
A frozen river flows alongside Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark. Despite the cold weather in the winter, Danes didn’t spend all their time inside, with land-based casinos increasing their activity. (Image: Peakpx)

In Spillemyndigheden’s update from last week, the regulator indicated that revenue from sports betting dropped in the fourth quarter of 2021. For the same period a year earlier, the market was worth DKK 726 million (US$107.73 million). However, it lost 18.3% last quarter, reporting DKK 583 million (US$86.51 million).

Overall, the sports betting market ticked upward last year. The full-year total for 2020 was DKKK2.29 billion (US$339.83 million) but increased to DKK2.41 billion (US$357.4 million) in 2021. Attributing to the 5.1% boost was a busy schedule, including the long-overdue EUFA Euro 2020.

The fourth-quarter performance was still slightly better than it was for the third quarter. Spillemyndigheden reported DKK577 million (US$85.57 million) for the period, a 2.8% year-on-year increase.

iGaming Continues to Find Interest

Online casinos still continued to be popular, even if sports betting trickled down. The sector took in DKK723 million (US$107.3 million) in the quarter, an increase of 7.16%.

This followed a trend throughout the year that saw the iGaming industry add 13.27% to its 2020 revenue. In 2020, the segment was worth DKK2.48 billion (US$368 million, but this grew to DKK2.88 billion (US$427.4 million) last year.

Overall, iGaming covered 45.29% of Denmark’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) last year; sports betting was second with 38.86%. Gaming machines added 12.31%, with land-based casino operations contributing 3.53%.

Gaming Machines Popular, But Revenue Down

Gaming machines proved to be especially popular last year for the land-based segment. Overall, the vertical provided 73.24% of the revenue, even though it was only 1% better in the fourth quarter. These machines can be found at a variety of venues, but arcades, with 76.41%, were the go-to alternative. Restaurants controlled about 23.6% of the market.

Gaming machines were way out in front of other verticals in the fourth quarter. Roulette was popular, but only had 9.68% of the market. That was better than blackjack, with its 7.73%, and “other” verticals that had 4.85%.

Despite the strong results, gaming machines lost considerably last year. COVID-19 restrictions kept consumers away from gambling venues. This resulted in gaming machine earnings falling by 22.43% from the previous year. The final total was DKK765 million (US$1.13 million).

The land-based casino segment took a hit from COVID-19 as well. The full-year results saw a year-on-year drop of 6.79% to DKK220 million (US$$32.65 million). As Denmark relaxed its health restrictions, though, casino activity increased. The fourth quarter brought a 21.94% year-on-year increase to the casino segment, with a total of DKK84 million (US$12.46 million).