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Danish Casinos to Close Until Next Year

In bad news for Danish gamblers, the country’s gambling authority, the Spillemyndigheden, has said that all casinos and gambling arcades in 38 municipalities will be made to temporarily close from 9 December.

The restrictions are set to remain in place until at least 3 January next year and they were brought in to try to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. The affected regions include Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense.

It is not only gambling venues that have been affected, with a temporary shutdown also placed on restaurants. There are reports that the new restrictions may be extended until February 2021, and there are new social distancing requirements and limits on gatherings.

Despite the lockdown, Spillemyndigheden is currently accepting applications for new licenses for land-based casinos. The application process began in October and is scheduled to continue until 29 January 2021. Applications are also open for ship-based casinos, and any licenses that are granted will be valid for ten years.

At present, there are eight licensed operators in Denmark, six of which are on land and two are on boats. A new casino was scheduled to open by the end of 2020 in Copenhagen, but it has unsurprisingly been delayed.

Recent figures from the Danish gambling market have been encouraging. In the third quarter of this year, Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) from land-based casinos was DKK 87 million, significantly higher than the DKK 16 million in the second quarter. There was GGR of DKK 334 million from gaming machines, which was more than the DKK 332 million bought in during the final quarter of 2019.

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