The Danish gambling market has been built up around a state-owned monopoly, Danske Spil A/S. However, despite the state-owned monopoly private operators are increasingly gaining larger and larger shares of the market. The Danish gambling market is estimated to be around DKK 26.5 billion (EUR approx. 3.5 billion) of which Danske Spil holds approximately 40 percent with a yearly turnover of DKK 11 billion (EUR approx. 1.48 billion). It is estimated that the online gambling market constitutes approximately 60 percent of the total Danish gambling market.
Danish gambling legislation does not distinguish between off-line and online betting. From the administrative practice of the Danish tax authorities it can be concluded that unless a game is expressly excluded from the license through the Act on certain games, lotteries and bets, Danske Spil is licensed to offer such game. This was expressed in an administrative decision from 25 April 2006 regarding taxation of winnings from EU-based poker sites. It is a condition for an exemption from income taxation of gambling winnings derived from an EU-based gambling operator that a similar game can be offered legally in Denmark. Since Danske Spil is not offering online poker, one of the issues at hand in this case was whether or not this condition was fulfilled. The tax authorities concluded that since online poker is not expressly excluded from Danske Spil’s gambling license, Danske Spil is entitled to offer online poker, and therefore online poker can be offered legally in Denmark under this license.