Since 2012, Denmark has had steady growth in iGaming, with Danish-owned online casinos a popular choice of entertainment for people of all ages.
As is typical of the Scandinavians, Denmark has a high rate of technological use, with 98% of the population using the internet regularly, but this isn’t the only reason that Denmark is topping the gaming scene in Europe.
Slots and online casinos like Winkslots are now providing more than 59% of the overall gambling revenue in the country – and that is a trend that seems to be continuing.
The Rising Popularity of Slots
The first slot machine, which we would recognise as having a similar construction to the online video slots we play today, was made by Sittman and Pitt in 1891. It was a gambling machine which had five drums, each with cards from a deck.
The idea was to pull the handle and try and make the best poker hand possible, with winning combinations worth certain prizes that had to be claimed at the bar – such as beer or cigars. This game was clunky and difficult, and there were too many combinations to automatically pay out, and the establishment that it was in could change the probability of a winning hand by removing certain cards from the drums.
In 1894 – Charles Fey invented a three-reel game with symbols, rather than cards. Among these symbols was the Liberty Bell, and his machine became known as the Liberty Bell machine. With this new slot machine, the lower complexity meant that there could be specific payouts for certain symbol combinations.
This led to huge demand for the Liberty Bell, and it wasn’t long before they could be found in bowling alleys, saloons, barber shops and even brothels. With the burgeoning anti-gambling laws, these machines tended to not pay cash, but would pay out candy and gum.
In 1963, a company named Bally made the first fully electromechanical slot machine called Money Honey, which featured a bottomless hopper and the ability to pay out up to 500 coins automatically.
This technology became immediately popular, with different versions created by other gaming companies who developed slot machines alongside arcade games.
Although not an immediate success, the first video slot machine was invented in 1976. The Fortune Coin Co. created a slot machine that made use of a modified Sony TV screen. When the possibilities of this were fully realised, it was the casinos in Las Vegas that became the biggest buyers.
Roll through a few decades, and we come to 1994, when the burgeoning internet was blooming. A small company called Microgaming based on the Isle of Man created the first online casino with a handful of games – and suddenly, online gaming became something that could happen.
As more and more people got access to the internet, and the video games industry grew, so did the online casino industry.
At every step of development, slots have moved with the times – and now there are thousands of online slot games available at hundreds of different online casino sites, taking advantage of technology like widely adopted smartphones, better connectivity through 4G and 5G, lossless audio and photorealistic graphics and even virtual reality.
The Importance of 2012 for the Danish Online Casino Scene
Prior to 2012, online casinos in Denmark were subject to a monopoly, meaning that there was a distinct lack of choice when it came to the type of gambling that could happen. This is part of the reason why in 2012, only 39% of the revenue from gambling came from online casinos and slots.
However, from 1st January 2012, Denmark began allowing casino operators to apply for a gaming licence in the country, with the most relaxed and liberal regulations in Europe. Denmark became the preferred place for online slot operators and casinos to come and get a licence.
In 2012 – Online casinos could offer poker, the usual casino games including slots, and sports betting, with horse and dog racing added in 2018.
The Danes were obviously waiting for the opportunity to use Danish gaming companies for their online play – more than 90% of online gambling in 2021 took place with Danish online casinos.
By the end of 2021, online casinos held a 64.3% market share of the gambling industry in Denmark, and more than 73% of online casino users play slots.
What Makes Slots Special in Denmark?
Research shows that slots players in Denmark have their favourites, and these include anything with a Nordic or a Viking theme, which is unsurprising given their storied history – but other popular slots include Book of Dead and Legacy of Dead by Play’n Go, Bonanza by Big Time Gaming, and Sweet Bonanza by Pragmatic Play.
Why do players prefer slots in Denmark? There are several reasons that online slots have a wide appeal.
Slots are simple to play, with no complicated rules to learn. There is no skill involved in the games, which means that the only input a player needs to have is to choose their stake and press spin. This simplicity is used throughout all the online slot games.
Players love the adrenaline and the chance-based play that is on offer. Online slots are random, with every spin as likely to win the jackpot as any other.
Probably one of the biggest reasons that people love slots today is that they can choose from a whole range of themes, from popular movie and game franchises to lucky leprechauns, Ancient Egypt to Viking – all with incredible graphics and fun sounds.