Danish Regulator Warns Over Rise in Illegal Bingo Games

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If there is one thing that has been learned reporting on the UK bingo community's reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, is that the bingo show, albeit at a social distance, must go on. We've published numerous articles revealing just how important a game of bingo has been to communities and individuals, in these troubling times.

In Denmark, the Danish Gambling Authority (Spillemyndigheden) has issued a warning to consumers after noting a marked increase in unlicensed bingo games being offered in both physical venues and in online bingo.

The regulator has recorded a notable increase in private games being organised over social media. There have even been cases of drive-in bingo, yes, drive-in bingo, where the bingo players park up in their cars and play.

The increase has come whilst Denmark's population is under restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Spillemyndigheden stated that most of the physical events were generally being held because the organisers were unable to hold otherwise planned events or because organisers wanted to create a sense of community unity amidst isolation times. However, most of the events had failed to secure permission from the Danish regulator for the games.

Spillemyndigheden director Morten Niels Jakobsen said:

“We certainly understand that at this particular time, there is a great desire to unite people through enjoyable entertainment such as bingo games, which is a game that can easily be adapted to the current requirements to keep distance,”

“However, when holding bingo games where a deposit is required in order to participate and you can win a prize, it is covered by the Act on Gambling’s licence requirements. In such cases, this means that it is illegal to offer online and drive-in bingo without a licence from Spillemyndigheden.”

Denmark Enforces Strict Gambling Regulation

The latest warning to consumers follows the Danish courts recently blocking access to 16 illegal gambling websites in Denmark following requests from Spillemyndigheden.

When it comes to bingo (or lotto) special rules apply to associations and organisations that hold charitable lottery or bingo games. The money paid by consumers to take part is supposed to go towards charitable causes. Organisers must secure approval from Spillemyndigheden before games can be offered.

Whilst the law is the law, the team at BingoDaily thinks that in these coronavirus times, organised bingo events that comply with government social distancing instructions can be an invaluable asset to any local community and should be encouraged, not warned against.

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