Christoffer Grönlund: our Danish licence is a feather in the cap for Winlandia

Christoffer Grönlund, Co-Founder and Head of Affiliates at Winlandia, takes us on the journey of the company’s entry into the Danish market and how the online casino operator is planning to deliver new experiences for players.

As iGaming regulation continues to expand into new markets around the world, one market that has emerged as somewhat of a beacon for opportunity for growth and innovation is Denmark.
With its tech-savvy population, high internet and mobile penetration and favourable regulations, it’s no surprise that operators, suppliers and affiliates alike are looking to expand their footprint into this burgeoning market. And of course, Winlandia had to get in on the action.

The entry into Denmark was a decision that we spent a lot of time mulling over. Was this the right market for us? Could we bring something new to the table? What do bettors want from their online casinos? These were all questions that we had to find the answers to before taking those initial steps.

We chose to go live in Denmark back in January, with a mission of delivering a unique and engaging casino experience for bettors across the country. So far, I think we’ve done a pretty good job at achieving just that.

Denmark is a prime example of an expansion opportunity. The country has a well-balanced economy with relatively high wages, which for us could translate into good customer lifetime value. The market also offers a well-regulated iGaming environment alongside a stable platform for us to engage with new audiences.

To cater to these players, we have chosen to pursue a mobile-first gaming experience – something that has been incorporated into Winlandia’s strategy for many years now.

Admittedly, we’ve all experienced those websites on mobile where it takes ages to load, or the interface isn’t quite suitable for using on your phone. It’s a pain, right? When eyeing up new opportunities in Denmark, Winlandia was certain that it wanted to avoid that issue.

For us, optimising the mobile gaming experience is crucial; that means ensuring that the user experience on your mobile site is user-friendly, that it offers intuitive navigation and has a fast loading time.

To stand out from the competition, we wanted to take that experience one step further by also delivering personalised game selections for players, based on behavioural data and game history.

No player wants to go on a site and see a carte blanche of products; they want to see games that they will enjoy. We simply tailor-made a unique game session for our players with the choice of games that is displayed to them.

Personalisation also transcends into the payment options that we offer, with players able to use Trustly, MobilePay, Apple Pay, VISA/Mastercard and PayPal to deposit and withdraw their funds.

By enhancing the Winlandia mobile experience, we aim to attract a broader audience and increase our market share in Denmark where mobile usage is prevalent.

Regulatory considerations

As well as taking player preferences into consideration, anyone entering the Danish market must be aware of, and be compliant with, the regulations set out by Spillemyndigheden, otherwise known as the Danish Gambling Authority.

Firstly, you must obtain a licence which involves checking lots of boxes relating to player safety, responsible gaming and financial stability.

You must then adhere to laws regarding advertising, anti-money laundering (AML) and consumer protection, not to mention the tax regulations that are specific to the gambling industry.

This might sound like a lot, but these measures have been introduced to not only create fair competition across the market, but most importantly, to protect players and steer them away from the unregulated market.

Unlicensed operators, more often than not, do not offer players the necessary tools to gamble in a safe and responsible manner, meaning that players are put at risk of problem gambling.

Channelisation of players to the unregulated market is a fact and something that we as an industry have an obligation to address. From a regulatory perspective, there does need to be more public education around the risks posed by unregulated gambling sites. As an operator, we are doing our part to educate players. We prioritise delivering a better value and elevated experience for our players so that they are not tempted by unlicensed brands.

It is of great importance that regulators, operators, suppliers and affiliates work together to constantly evolve the market and find the ‘sweet spot’ between strict regulations and being able to deliver new experiences for players. If we can find that balance and identify ways in which we can all work together cohesively, then I am confident that the growth of the Danish market will know no bounds.

What next?

Making predictions for any market is a difficult task, especially without a crystal ball to gaze into. But the Danish market is one that I think holds enormous growth potential.

However, there are some trends that must be monitored closely. If we look at total gross gaming revenue for 2022 and 2023, online casinos saw a very small year-on-year increase with just below 3%.

What is a worrying factor for 2024 is the increased volumes of players excluding via the Danish ROFUS initiative. In 2023, 46,000 self-exclusions were registered. That number could well rise beyond 50,000 this year, where 32,000 self-exclusions will be inactive for 12 months before the can request a reactivation.

As an industry, all stakeholders must deliver a gambling experience that is enjoyable and makes players feel safe. If we can do that, then we will be able to better navigate this intricate market landscape.

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