Danish Tax Minister Proposing Advertising Restrictions

August 30, 2022
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​​​​​​​Denmark's government wants to ban gambling adverts from 15 minutes before until 15 minutes after sports matches on TV.

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Denmark's government wants to ban gambling adverts from 15 minutes before until 15 minutes after sports matches on TV.

Jeppe Bruus, the minister of taxation, announced his plans to the local media on August 25, saying he hopes he can sever the link between gambling and sports.

“The minister will present further proposals on September 6, 2022 on how to combat gambling addiction. I cannot say right now what more they will contain,” a spokesperson for the ministry told VIXIO GamblingCompliance.

Spillebranchen, previously the Danish Online Gambling Association (DOGA), acknowledges there are a lot of gambling adverts during football matches and believes this is why politicians are pushing for more restrictions.

However, Morten Rønde, director of Spillebranchen, said he does not believe marketing restrictions “will do any good”.

“If they want to do a ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban, there is no evidence it will protect gamblers. I believe I read a report from [UK trade group] the BGC that it lessens exposure to gambling ads to youth, but as far as I know this is not a measure that will up consumer protection. Politicians are just dabbling in things they don't have evidence of, which is not a good thing,” Rønde said.

Analysis of the whistle-to-whistle ban in Great Britain revealed it cut the amount of TV gambling ads seen by 4 to 17-year-olds by 97 percent. Total gambling advertising exposure during live sports before 9pm also declined by 78 percent.

The Danish trade group had planned an agreement with the media to reduce the volume of gambling commercials, but they were blocked by the Competition Authority in 2019.

Instead of the minister’s proposed restrictions, Rønde wants politicians to fund more research into addiction and to make better use of available operator data to analyse the market and monitor player behaviour.

“Everybody thinks there will be a general election very soon. What they are doing now is pre-election campaigning. Not all political parties want to be a part of this. In principle, all these parties have to agree on changes of this nature and they won't right now. It is unlikely anyone will agree to something before the general election is over, as it's likely the opposition will win,” Rønde said.

In May 2022, Bruus said he was taking the results of a study “very seriously” after it revealed the number of people with gambling problems has more than doubled since 2016.

An estimated 478,000 people in the country (10.9 percent of adults) exhibit at least a low level of problem gambling, according to a study on the prevalence of gambling problems in Denmark in 2021. In 2016, this figure was approximately 212,000 people (5.2 percent of adults).

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