Spillemyndigheden: 15 per cent of 15 to 17-year-olds illegally gamble online

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Spillemyndigheden, the Danish gambling authority, has published a study on Danish gambling, revealing that 15 per cent of 15 to 17-year-olds have gambled online despite the age limit for online gambling in the country being 18.

The data comes from a survey which Spillemyndigheden conducted between November 24, 2022 and January 15, 2023, sending a questionnaire to a randomly selected sample of 30,070 Danes aged 15 or over, to which 7,637 people responded.

Some of the key questions that the survey asked included: ‘How many Danes gamble online?’, ‘Who participates in gambling activities?’, ‘How many Danes gamble on unlicensed sites?’ and ‘Why do Danes gamble on unlicensed sites?’.

The study revealed that 21.7 per cent of respondents have gambled online over the past year, approximately 32,000 people, with an average spend of DKK 6,500 (£750) when taking into account that the country’s online gambling spend in 2022 was DKK 7bn (£807.3m).

Spillemyndigheden noted that 15 per cent of young people (approximately 32,000 people) aged between 15 and 17 have gambled online in the past year, even though the legal age to online gamble in Denmark is 18.

Lotteries and scratch cards were the most popular form of wagering at 13.4 per cent, followed by betting at 8.7 per cent, online casino at 4.1 per cent, skin betting at 0.7 per cent and other at 1.6 per cent.

Of those who have gambled in the past year, 3.8 per cent (approximately 41,000) have wagered on unlicensed gambling websites, with over half of these players knowingly doing so.

The Danish authority added that 8.6 per cent of gamblers don’t know if the site on which they have gambled has a licence to operate in the country.

Of those that gambled on a licensed site, 57 per cent cited better control and supervision as a reason why, followed by 48 per cent for the site being more reliable and serious, 45 per cent due to the site being in Danish and 29 per cent because the site pays Danish taxes.

In addition, 16 per cent said they gambled on a licensed website in Denmark because of the protection offered against problem gambling and nine per cent because of better self-exclusion options.

Of those who have gambled on unlicensed sites, Spillemyndigheden reported that 91 per cent have also wagered on licensed sites, with the majority gambling mostly on licensed sites.

Online casino was the most popular form of gambling on unlicensed sites at 43.4 per cent, followed by betting at 36 per cent, skin betting at 34.2 per cent, lotteries and scratch cards at 12.4 per cent and other at 8.2 per cent.

68 per cent of players who gambled on unlicensed sites found the sites after searching for them themselves, 66 per cent discovered sites via video and streaming sites, while 54 per cent were told about sites through family, friends and acquaintances.

As for why people gambled on websites that are not licensed in Denmark, 37 per cent did so because they featured game types that aren’t available on licensed sites and 32 per cent did so due to the fact they believed they were receiving a higher payback and winnings.

Bigger bonuses were cited by 26 per cent as a reason why they gambled on unlicensed sites. 23 per cent gambled on unlicensed websites because they have excluded themselves from licensed websites through the ROFUS self-exclusion service.

21 per cent wagered on unlicensed websites because they could despite being under 18, 17 per cent did because they didn’t have to identify themselves, 19 per cent did because of better or other payment options, while other reasons cited were no deposit limits, spending limits and having their account closed on licensed websites.

Earlier this month, Spillemyndigheden reported that spending at land-based locations has fallen in the first two months since the introduction of player ID requirements, but it was “too early to conclude whether the decrease is due to the player ID”.