Danish Gambling Operators Warned By Regulator over Bonus Offers

Danish Gambling

The Denmark Gambling Authority has warned operators over the wordings of bonus offers. It has asked the operators to comply with the advertising rules of the country and avoid misusing the word ‘free’ in their bonus offers.

On Monday, the Spillemyndigheden warned the locally licensed gambling companies that the use of the word ‘free’ violates the Danish Marketing Practices Act where a bonus offer also includes a turnover requirement. The current laws of the country, more specifically the Executive Order on Online Casino, section 20(1)(1), and Executive Order on Betting, section 19(1)(1), dictate that the operators must state the terms and conditions of an offer directly alongside it.

The regulator also referred to a statement by the Danish Consumer Ombudsman from February 2016 which highlighted that the use of the word ‘free’ was misleading in a bonus offer that included a turnover requirement or impaired the chances of the users winning. Simply stated, the operators cannot provide a user 100 free spins by asking them to deposit a minimum of $25 upfront. This will be considered misleading advertising under the law.

The regulator’s warning also extends to words like ‘free of charge,’ free bets’ and ‘free spins.’  It notified that the use of such words misleads the customers that the offer by the company is free when in reality; the situation could be very different. However, it said that if the user’s ability to win is not restricted and there is no turnover requirement, these terms can be used by the operators.

Denmark is getting ready to establish a new Code of Conduct for its regulated gambling sector. Land-based and online licensed operators in the country had agreed to adopt a voluntary code earlier this year that would put restrictions on some advertising practices and focus more on gambler protection. The new Code of Conduct will be effective from July 1 and will seek to protect children and other vulnerable populations from risks associated with gambling. It will ban celebrities from becoming ambassadors of gambling products and brands and will make operators absolve from offering gambling products as solutions to financial problems.

Licensed companies will also look forward to reducing the volume of gambling ads on TV. They will also put some limitations on ads displayed on online sites and social media. Denmark wants to follow the UK’s footsteps in regulating the gambling industry. The British operators agreed on a voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling ads during live sporting events.

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