Published: February 1, 2019

Denmark considers gambling advertising ban during live sport

Director of Danske Spil, Niels Folmann, has called for a UK-style gambling advertising ban during live sports to be introduced in Denmark.

Speaking to media outlet DR, Folmann said Denmark should issue a blanket ban on gambling ads during live sport, similar to the ban recently announced in the UK.

Danske Spil is the lottery organiser in Denmark. The call for the ban follows a recent request for an ethical stature report from the industry. This is expected to be completed sometime this spring.

The call has been positively received. The Socialist People’s Party, the Social Liberal, and the Danish People’s Party have all said they would be prepared to table a bill calling for such a ban.

However, the industry will first have the opportunity to regulate itself and come to an agreement on the topic.

Speaking to Jyllands-Posten, Folmann said:

We think we have reached a point where it makes sense to discuss whether we should let viewers watch the match in peace, and promote our commercial messages at other times.Niels Folmann, Danske Spil Director

The UK model referred to by Folmann was agreed in December 2018. A whistle-to-whistle ban is to be imposed on gambling adverts, but implementation isn’t expected until summer.

Critics in Denmark have argued that it is difficult to gauge how effective such a ban is without it yet being implemented, and have therefore warned about jumping the gun by following the UK model. The aim of the gambling ban in the UK is to reduce gambling-related harm, but with the ban still months away, how effective it is towards achieving this goal remains to be seen.

The Danish government is already moving towards tighter marketing controls on the industry. Earlier this month, a draft executive order was issued by the government containing stricter rules towards marketing.

Improving player protection and social responsibility was also high on that agenda. Towards that goal, limits on deposits, clearer rules surrounding bonus offers, and better access to the country’s self-exclusion scheme, were all called for. Operators active in Denmark must respond to the proposals by February 04.

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