Denmark is in the process of liberalizing its online gambling industry, but has faced serious delays in implementing new gambling laws. The initial plan was for the country’s new online gambling licensing system to be online by 1 January 2011. Now, it looks like it will be mid-summer before players are able to enjoy licensed online gambling sites in Denmark.
The first delay came in late October, when it was announced that the implementation of new Danish gambling laws would be delayed due to logistical problems with processing a huge number of incoming applications for gambling licenses. Now, further delays are occurring, this time due to complaints by the European Commission about the country’s proposed gambling tax.
The latest draft of the new gambling laws submitted to the EC propose a 20% flat tax across all internet gambling products, and an annual license costing between €7,000 and €200,000, depending on gross profits. Upon reviewing the proposal, the EC lodged a complaint about the proposed tax rates. In an effort to resolve the dispute, the Danish minister of taxation intends to travel to Brussels, where he will argue that the proposed tax rates are in fact in compliance with EU laws.
Operators hoping to one day offer internet gambling in Denmark have been vocal in their opposition to the proposed taxes, but there are other pressing issues as well. Betsson has lodged a formal complaint with the EC over Denmark’s proposed “black period” that would require operators who apply for a gambling license to cease all services in Denmark until the license is approved. Many are also critical of the country’s intention to keep certain products under the exclusive control of the current gambling monopoly, Danske Spil. While it is certain that online gambling in Denmark is on its way, there are quite a few obstacles still blocking its path.