Monday was a very lucky day for a 19 year old young man in Esbjerg, Denmark who appeared in front of the criminal judge, charged with grand larceny. The young man, referred to as Bent in court documents due to his age, was employed by a local petrol station, pumping gas in front of a convenience store. According to prosecution, Bent frequently bet on sports in Denmark and had a guaranteed tip about an upcoming football game where the odds were ‘too good to pass’.
The prosecutor reported that Bent wanted to place a large bet on the game but had no money. He devised a scheme to set a smoke bomb inside the convenience store toilet, and during the confusion to steal all the scratch-off lottery tickets. Bent confessed to the judge that he thought that out of a few thousand scratch-off tickets, he would win a tidy sum of money, play online casino in Denmark, and with his winning be able to compensate the store for every ‘borrowed’ ticket the next day.
Bent admitted that his plan worked and the winning tickets amounted to $2427 US Dollars. Esbjerg Police arrested Bent before he was able to place any bets. Evidence showed that the total value of the stolen scratch-off tickets was $40,000US dollars. After a brief deliberation the Judge sentenced Bent to a 3 month suspended prison term, to pay back his former employer the $40,0000, and ordered Bent to attend Gambling re-education classes. To the surprise of everyone present, the Judge allowed Brent to keep the $2427 that was won from the stolen tickets.
Danske Spil which is 80% owned by the government, and according to Danish gambling laws, controls all forms of online gambling and casinos in Denmark. While it is certain that online gambling in Denmark will one day open to foreign companies, and the government monopoly broken, there are still quite a few obstacles along the way.