Earlier this week, on 15 April 2019, the Danish gambling regulator called on all the companies holding gambling licenses in the country to be more upfront and transparent about their so-called ‘free’ and ‘bonus’ offers on various games.
Offers such as ‘free spins’ or ‘free bets’ are probably the most common promotional vehicles used in the industry. However, Danish Spillemyndigheden (The Danish Gaming Authority) felt that these ‘free’ offers are ‘misleading promises’ and that the players should be informed about the terms and conditions attached to such promotions in more direct and clearer words.
Here is what the Danish Gaming Authority is demanding.
What has the Danish Gambling Authority asked for?
The Spillemyndigheden has ruled that the usage of phrases such as “free of charge,” “free spins,” and “free bet,” are inappropriate if there are ‘turnover requirements’ attached to such offers. Turnover requirements in the gambling industry typically mean deposit or wagering requirements.
The Danish regulator has ruled that such phrases can only be used when “the chance of winning is not reduced and the offer does not involve a turnover requirement.”
The Spillemyndigheden pointed out an existing regulation that was passed by the Danish Parliament long ago. The Executive Order on Online Casino section 20(1)(1) and the Executive Order on Betting section 19(1)(1) requires online licensees to “clearly state all terms and conditions connected to a bonus offer directly alongside the offer.” And the Danish Gaming Authority wants the companies to follow this regulation down to the tee.
Is Denmark going the UKGC way?
Denmark is not the first European country to demand such transparency. In fact, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), one of the strongest and most respected regulators in the region have already been implementing such measures.
UKGC has already banned the use of the word ‘free’ in promotional material that is directed towards audiences in the UK. You can still offer a ‘free bonus’ but it has to be 100% free. Meaning, there can not be any terms and conditions attached to the offer once you call it ‘free’. If you attach a condition, the offer can no longer be called a ‘free’, not even if it has a simple wagering or deposit requirement. These two are, again, very common conditions attached to any offer in this industry. So, many operators have now switched to the term ‘bonus spins’, which may or may not have a deposit requirement, but always comes with wagering terms.
Now, in the UK, when affiliates promote any sort of bonus a ‘T&C apply’ disclaimer has to be issued with a direct link to the full terms and conditions page where the players can read the full text about the offer with all details in it.
There are many other transparency measures been taken by the UKGC. You can read the full guidelines for affiliate marketing in the UK here.
Looking at the latest communication from the Danish Authorities, it seems Denmark will most likely implement similar regulations like the ones being implemented in the UK. In fact, the Danish Online Gambling Association (DOGA) has already started working with many land-based operators in the country to come up with a regulatory framework for a new voluntary code of conduct in relation to the marketing tactics used by the betting industry.
The Danes and the Brits are not the only one. Many other regulators are also considering such measures as these marketing practices are considered to be unfair.
What this means for players?
Any measure towards more transparency is always better for players, no matter which country or state implements it. In fact, such measures are now being self-implemented by many cautious operators, who have already started including these guidelines in their marketing operations.
At Labslots, we always welcome all such regulations that call for more fair gameplay and protects the players. Thus, we think these measures are going to only improve the gaming experience and industry practices.