Danish Gambling Authority Blocks 25 Online Gambling Sites
The Danish Gambling Authority has blocked 25 online gambling sites found to be offering services to Denmark’s citizens, according to an announcement made by the Authority — in Danish, the Spillemyndigheden — earlier this week. The move follows through on earlier threats made by the Authority to take action against such designated-as-illicit offerings. The blocking went into effect following a ruling by the Copenhagen City Court in favor of the blocking as sought by the Authority.
The collection action targets two separate families of illicit sites: online gambling sites targeting (primarily) adults, and CS:GO [Counter Strike: Global Offensive] “skin” sites that offer a form of gambling activity tailored extensively toward underage online players. While numerous online games offer such “skin” wagering, CS:GO sites in particular have drawn the ire of gambling authorities in several northern European nations, including Denmark.
According to the Danish Gambling Authority’s statement, a total of ten “traditional” online-gambling sites were ordered blocked after continuing to offer unlicensed services to Danish bettors. All ten of the now-blocked sites are grey- or black-market offerings of smallish size (and questionable legitimacy) operating from jurisdictions other than Denmark. The ten blocked gambling sites are the following:
The blocking of the sites was enabled via communications with all telecommunications companies currently offering services in Denmark.
Every bit as important from Denmark’s viewpoint is the blocking of the CS:GO skins. The 15 skin sites targeted in this crackdown were identified via an enhanced search strategy adapted for skin betting websites. According to the Authority, “It is often more demanding to find and verify skin betting websites than traditional gambling sites, but the new search strategy has already proved efficient and should make it even easier to find the illegal skin betting websites.”
The skin sites ordered blocked include the following:
This marks the second time in a little over a year that Denmark has formally blocked certain online gambling sites. The first such wave of blacklisting, announced in February of 2018, targeted 24 other sites, again including both traditional online-gambling and skins-betting offerings. In that move, 18 of the 24 sites offered the traditional gambling forms, while six were skin-based sites. The relative increase this time around in the percentage of skins sites targeted reflects the Authority’s increased efforts toward that sector.
According to Birgitte Sand, Director of the Danish Gambling Authority, “We use our authority to block websites on an ongoing basis. We do this to protect the operators who do have a licence to offer gambling in Denmark. But we also do so to protect the players. Here, our focus is particularly on the pages that offer skin betting, as they often target children and adolescents under the age of 18.”
Sand added, “We will continue to work purposefully and persistently to find and block the illegal skin betting websites, although we observe that these sites, in particular, tend to complicate our work of documenting and blocking, says Birgitte Sand, and elaborates : – But we continue our efforts against illegal gambling and look with great care on the skin betting pages. Especially, since they often involve children playing video games which suddenly turn into gambling. Therefore, we also look at other methods, while at the same time we continuously monitor the traditional offer of betting and online casino that is aimed at Denmark without permission.”