|In Denmark, online skill-based games from State-owned broadcaster TV2 have become the first to successfully challenge the national gambling authority’s monopoly.|
According to a piece from The Copenhagen Post, the broadcaster revealed that it discovered a loophole in the nation’s gaming laws that permits it to provide cash payouts to winners of online games and soon created a website at TV2.dk offering twelve amusements including backgammon, golf and pool. Although the courts have upheld national gaming agency Danske Spil's monopoly on the $2.32 billion industry, TV2's games are based on skill rather than chance and not covered by law.
”We've looked into the legalities of this together with gaming officials,” said Lars Bernt, a Director for TV2.
“They differentiate between games of chance, which are covered by the monopoly, and games of skill, which are not.”
The State owns 80 percent of Danske Spil while the rest is held by two national sports organisations. Last year, the monopoly announced profits of almost $338 million with just over $211,000 going to non-profit groups. TV2, however, will be permitted to keep any profits it makes with tax authorities revealing that there is no specific definition for a game of chance beyond whether payoffs were 'primarily determined by chance'. But, they said that games were judged on a case by case basis and also refused to call the differences between games a 'loophole'.
“TV2 isn't providing gambling,” said Kristian Jensen, Tax Minister for Denmark.
“It is a competition and that is regulated by gaming laws.'
TV2 stated that it expects its discovery could result in a flood of new game providers based in Denmark while the European Commission is currently involved in legal action against the Danish monopoly for violating common market regulations.