Royal Casino is the first casino to raise the age limit to 21 years

“Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it”, said Storm P, and one might be tempted to say the same about responsible gaming. Most casinos write a lot about what they do to offer responsible gaming, and some use it as part of their marketing wrapped in programs like Green Gaming and LeoSafePlay. These programs are great if used, but are completely voluntary and therefore only work to the extent that vulnerable players choose to use them. It is therefore very few casinos that actually do more than what is required of them all in the Gambling Act.

Royal Casino has now decided to take the lead and make an initiative that can make a real difference in the fight against gambling addiction.

The relationship between age and gambling addiction

age and gambling addiction

When Denmark liberalized the gambling market in 2012, it gave players greater choice and the state more tax revenue, but at the same time the politicians decided to do more to investigate and combat gambling addiction. One of the results of this is the report Gambling and gambling problems in Denmark 2005-2016 prepared by the National Research Center for Welfare.

One of the strongest conclusions from the report is the connection between gender, age and the risk of developing gambling addiction. In 2016, the researchers asked 6,201 people a series of questions that can indicate whether a person is in the risk group for developing gambling addiction. Here it turned out that a man aged 18-24 had 5 times the chance of being in the risk group than a man aged between 40 and 59 and 15 times more chance than men over 60.

At the same time, the report concluded that the increased risk of developing gambling addiction only applied to young men. Women – regardless of age – answered yes to the questions in the survey to a much lesser extent. There was still a slightly higher chance of women under the age of 24 developing gambling addiction, but the likelihood was almost 10 times less than for young men, and less than all age groups of men except those over 60.

The age limit for games is 18 years – for the most part

age limit for games

The law in Denmark states that you must be 18 years old to play online casino and generally play for money online. On the other hand, you can play for money in shops as early as 16 years old, e.g. Lotto and scratch cards. Journalists have also shown that it is often possible for minors to gamble in shops, even if it is illegal, and according to the gambling authority, the vast majority of gambling addicts started gambling for money before they turned 25, while almost half of the researched, started playing before they turned 18.

On the internet, it is much easier to check that players are over 18 years old, as you have to verify your account with MitID before you can withdraw your winnings. However, it is still possible to get around it if you play at a casino that is not approved by the Gambling Authority, but this entails more risks of not getting your winnings, as well as requiring you to have a payment card that the casino accepts . The vast majority of Danes only play at approved Danish casinos.

Politicians have been successful in combating addiction to cigarettes and alcohol, among other things, by raising the age limit, and there is a good chance that gambling addiction can be combated in the same way. However, it is always a balancing act of the advantages of remedying a problem and the disadvantages of further restrictions on personal freedom (and attendant responsibility). It is also very unusual for age limits in the law to be over 18, but this is found in a few cases, such as e.g. large driving licence, which can only be obtained when you turn 21.

For private companies such as Royal Casino, on the other hand, there is nothing to prevent them from setting age limits that are higher than the law. There are plenty of discotheques and clubs that have higher age limits than the 18 years that are the limit for buying alcohol, and there is nothing to prevent a casino – online or not – from doing the same.

Royal Casino voluntarily raises the age to 21 years

Royal Casino raises the age limit to open an account with them to 21 years. Not because it is required by law, which sets the age limit at 18, but because they want to be at the forefront of development in the gaming industry in Denmark. In 2019, Royal Casino helped to found the Gaming Industry’s Code of Conduct, which brings together players from both physical and online games within lottery, physical slot machines and online games. The gambling industry’s Code of Conduct contains a number of initiatives, all of which aim to increase responsibility around gambling and to help maintain a healthy Danish gambling culture, so that the gambling industry can be developed commercially but responsibly in association with political initiatives.

It will still be possible for existing customers under the age of 21 to play on their accounts, just as people over the age of 18 can still visit the Royal Casino in Aarhus city centre.

Since Royal Casino is so far the only online casino that has raised the age limit, there are still plenty of opportunities for 18-20 year olds to play online casino with both the joys and potential problems that this entails. However, Royal Casino is starting an important debate about where concrete action must be taken in the future to reduce the risk of gambling addiction in Denmark.

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