Those canny Danes…in bowing to European Commission pressure to open up the online poker market, legislators have made sure their state monopoly Danske Spil gets a good start when online poker licensing comes into effect.
New Danish online gambling laws will on paper see the start of a more competitive online poker market on July 1st 2010, when online poker operators wishing to offer their services in Denmark will require a licence.
From Danska Spil’s perspective, this is where the clever bit kicks in – these licenses won’t be available to foreign sites until January 1, 2011; giving state monopoly Danske Spil – which is of course already licensed – a clear and unopposed run in the market for six months.
The government has been quick to warn off any operator who may try to preempt the Danske Spil licensing advantage, claims the regional magazine “Ace”, which reports that government spokesmen have hinted that ISP-blocking action may be taken to ensure that Danish players don’t participate in games on sites that are not in possession of a Danish licence.
Danish player message boards are now starting to carry suggestions that those playing on unlicensed sites at present may find it wise to keep funds on account to a minimum in case government clampdowns after July 1st make withdrawals a problem. The consensus appears to be that attempts are being made to get as many Danes as possible onto the state site whilst it has the market to itself.