Horse racing is the sixth largest spectator sport in Denmark, with the scale of the sport and the attendance at events increasing every year. While thoroughbred horse racing is predominant in the country, harness racing events are also held there.
The Charlottenlund Racecourse in the capital region of Denmark is dedicated to harness racing only, with the Danish Trotting Derby and the Copenhagen Cup, as the main harness racing events.
Initially, only Arabian horses were bred by the noble families, while speed and endurance were a priority.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, three stallions from Denmark were taken to England to be mated with the racing mares of that time to improve the local racing breed. The new breed, a combination of Anglo and Arab breeds, was far superior in speed and strength.
With the establishment of the Danish Jockey Club in 1859, horse racing became a regulated sport, followed by the organisation of formal racing events on Danish soil.
Presently, it is perceived as one of the most exciting sports in the country, where people have a chance to wager on the races taking place in the country. If you also want to be a part of the betting action in Denmark, here is a brief guide to lead you in the right direction.
Betting on horse racing in Denmark
Land-based betting in Denmark is mainly dominated by Danske Spil, the former monopoly controlling sports betting and lottery in the country, while the industry was monitored by the Danish Gambling Authority.
In January 2012, Denmark was the first country in the continent to liberate the gambling market. While the move was intended to end the only license holder Danske Spil’s monopoly, it was only enforced in theory.
After the liberalisation, other betting companies like Bet 365 and Ladbrokes entered the market, but Danske maintained its exclusive rights.
In 2017, the European Commission cleared the way for Denmark to end Danske Spil’s monopoly on bingo and horse race betting and put an end to the unregulated market prevalent in the country. With the new law, betting on horse racing in land-based and online channels was liberalised, whereby operators were obliged to pay 8% of the fixed odds betting turnover as a contribution to equestrian sports.
Thus as of January 2018, land-based and online sports betting, including horse racing, is regulated and permitted with fixed odds betting, while the betting monopoly of land-based and online horse race pool has been eliminated.
Presently, a single license is awarded to operate land-based casinos and online sites, which is valid for five years.
How to bet online on horse racing in Denmark
Despite the regulated nature of the gambling industry, there are many operators in the country. Many powerhouses of sports betting have acquired a local license to offer their services in the country, while there is no shortage of international betting sites in the mix. The top betting sites offering services in Denmark include Stake, N1 Bet, and 20 Bet, among others.
Danish betting sites must undergo a licensing process handled by the Danish Regulatory Authority. The sites are required to offer a completely localised betting product. They must have a .dk domain and offer DKK as a currency. Similarly, the sites are also required to offer customer support in Danish.
Can I bet on international or offshore betting sites in Denmark?
As per the 2012 Gambling Act for regulating the gambling market, a license is necessary for betting sites to operate in Denmark. It implies that playing on offshore or international betting sites is deemed illegal.
However, in reality, the law only seems to exist on paper, and so far, there have been no reports of any player being charged with a penalty or fee if they are found betting on an unlicensed site.
Is there any taxation on winnings from online betting on horse racing in Denmark?
Before 2021 there was zero tax on the winnings from gambling. However, in 2021 a change was made to the law, and now the gambling winnings are treated as income. Hence a relevant tax amount is applied. They are usually not taxed if you make profits under DKK 37,000 or €5,000. However, if the profit is higher, a tax would be charged.
Due to the change in the tax rate, many bettors have chosen to steer away from the local betting sites and move to offshore bookies. As per a report, more than 40% of bettors now play on international betting sites, while previously, only 5% of the bettors opted for international sites.
What are the deposit options for online betting on horse racing in Denmark?
Cashless transactions are the way to go. For this purpose, the preferred modes of payments include credit or debit cards and e-wallet options like Skrill and Neteller. Moreover, the option of cryptocurrencies and vouchers like Paysafe cards is also available at some sites.