Poker is a game of cards that comes in many different variants. The most ordinary forms of poker games are e.g. Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud, and Five-card draw.
Poker tournaments can be held under the Act on Poker if:
- The poker tournament is public
- The poker tournament takes place at a specified venue where the participants are physically present at the same time
- The participants in the tournament play in order to obtain economic gains
Online poker games are not covered by the Act on Poker, but can be provided with a licence for online casino.
It is not possible to obtain a licence for cash games. Cash games can only be provided with a licence for land-based casino or online casino.
Poker games played in a private setting and poker games where one does not play for economic gains are not covered by the Act on Poker.
Read more about online casino
How to obtain a licence
Application for licence to hold poker tournaments
Application for licence to hold public poker tournaments
It is not permitted to organise public poker tournaments in Denmark, unless a licence has been issued. The Danish Gambling Authority issues licences to and supervises public poker tournaments. You can find a list of licence holders further below.
With a licence from the Danish Gambling Authority persons, companies, or organisations can organise public poker tournaments. In order to obtain a licence, it is among other things required that the applicant is 18 years old. An applicant cannot hold both an alcohol licence and a poker licence to the same venue.
You have to apply to the Danish Gambling Authority for a licence. You must expect six to eight weeks for the application process. It is not allowed to hold public poker tournaments before you have obtained a licence. You must use application form no. 7-01. The application fee is DKK 1,000, which must be paid when submitting the application.
A licence to organise public poker tournaments can include a licence to hold up to two tournaments a day at a specific venue. A licence is valid for a timeframe of two years as a maximum, but it is possible to apply for a new licence when this period has expired.
Read more about poker tournaments in the guideline further below.
Changes or cancellation of a licence
If there are changes to a valid licence e.g. changes of the tournament venue or added number of tournaments, you must apply for the changes to the Danish Gambling Authority. Changes must be approved by the Danish Gambling Authority before they become effective. A fee of DKK 1,000 is charged for changes that entail an issuance of a new licence.
If the licencee is a company or an association, changes made within the executive board or board of directors must be reported to the Danish Gambling Authority no later than a month after the changes have become effective. Subsequently, the Danish Gambling Authority assesses whether potentially new members can be approved.
If you, as a licencee, no longer wish to use your licence, a written notification must be given to the Danish Gambling Authority. Subsequently, the Danish Gambling Authority will send a letter of termination that confirms the cancellation.
Before the public poker tournament is held
You must notify the Danish Gambling Authority of the date of the planned tournament(s) 14 days before the start of the poker tournament at the latest. The notification can concern one or more poker tournaments at a time. If a tournament is cancelled, the Danish Gambling Authority must be notified at the same time of the planned start of the tournament at the latest. You can do this by using our contact form.
Before you make it possible for anyone to sign up for the public tournament, you must have prepared a set of playing rules and a form that shows the calculation of the sum of prizes.
At the sign up, you must register all the players’ names, addresses and dates of birth, and you must control the identity of the present players immediately before the start of the tournament.
Certain rules apply to the participation and organisation of public poker tournaments. Persons under the age of 18 are not allowed to join the tournament nor to access the room in which the public tournament will take place. At the start of the tournament, there must be at least eight participants. Thus, the tournament must not be completed, if not at least eight players participate from the beginning of the tournament.
Stakes and prizes
The players’ payment for participation in a public poker tournament must take place before the commencement of the tournament. You, as a licence holder, must be able to document that the payment has taken place in time. Further below you can see which payment systems are approved. Payments can also be made through a bank transfer. It is not allowed to pay the stake in cash.
A participant’s stake may as a maximum make up DKK 400 per tournament per day and must be paid in one collected payment. If a player participates in two tournaments per day at the same venue, the player’s stake must maximally make up DKK 400 in total for both tournaments. It is not allowed to add more money to the tournament pool several times or throughout the game.
The stakes of the participants make up the tournament pool. The tournament pool must not exceed DKK 20,000 and may as a rule only be used for prizes. However, it is allowed to use up to 25 percent of the tournament pool for immediate costs. This includes costs that have a direct connection to the individual public poker tournament, which among other things are costs for rent of the venue, book keeping, website, playing cards etc.
The total prize for one player may as a maximum make up half of the tournament pool, but it is up to the licence holder to calculate and distribute the prizes. The calculation of the prizes must be available to the players before it is possible to sign up for a tournament.
The down payment of the prizes from the tournament pool can only take place through a bank transfer. It is therefore not permitted to pay out prizes in cash.
Sponsor prizes are allowed in the tournament pool.
Sponsor prizes can either consist of money or goods. In case the prize consists of goods, the value of the goods must be stated as the market value. The market value of sponsor prizes must not exceed DKK 5,000 in a single tournament. If more than one tournament is held per day, the sponsored prize(s) must not exceed DKK 5,000 in total. Persons with affiliation with the company that sponsors a prize or the person who sponsors a prize must not participate in the tournament in which the sponsored prize(s) enter into. The licence holder can use up to 25 percent of the tournament pool to cover the immediate costs in connection with the organisation of the public poker tournament. However, the value of sponsor prizes are not included in the 25 percent of the tournament pool that can be used to cover the immediate costs of the organisation of the tournament.
Ranking list tournament
Up to five percent can be transferred from the tournament pool to a tournament final, however, maximally DKK 500. To qualify for a ranking list tournament final, the qualifying tournaments must span ten tournaments and at least four weeks. The tournament final must at the latest be held three months after the first qualifying tournament.
The general rules that apply to the organisation of public poker tournaments also apply to the tournament finals. Therefore, sponsor prizes are allowed in the tournament final pool.
If the tournament final pool exceeds the upper limit of the tournament pool’s size of DKK 20,000 (maximally DKK 25,000 in the case that sponsor prizes are included) an application for this must be made in advance.
In connection to any completed poker tournament, financial accounts must at the latest be devised two months after the tournament is completed. All payments to and from the tournament pool must be documented in the accounts, including a statement of the amount and the date of payment. Furthermore, the accounts must include the names of the participants, their addresses, and dates of birth as well as the playing rules and the sum of prizes.
In case that sponsor prizes are included in the tournament pool, the market value of the sponsor prize must appear from the accounts. The identification information of the sponsor must also appear from the accounts. If the sponsor is an individual, the accounts must include name, address, and date of birth. If the sponsor is a legal entity, the accounts must include name, address, and CVR number.
The legislation on all gambling categories
Guide on public poker tournaments is addressed to citizens, companies, and associations.
Only available in Danish
Laws and Executive Orders
Notice: There may have been made later changes to the acts/executive orders. Please confer with the Danish legal text in order to ensure that you have the latest version of the acts. You are always welcome to contact the Danish Gambling Authority in case of doubt.
The English versions of the acts and executive orders are unofficial translations. In case of any discrepancy between the original Danish text and the English translations of the acts and executive orders, the Danish text shall prevail.
On rules on public poker tournaments (Act on Poker)
Only available in Danish
Amendments to the Act can be found on retsinformation.
On public poker tournaments
Only available in Danish
List of approved payment systems
The Danish Gambling Authority has chosen to allow usage of payment systems for payments to and from the tournament pool. So far, the following payment systems have been approved by the Danish Gambling Authority:
Klubpoker.dk (approved 14 May 2014)
Place2book (approved 8 September 2011)
Clubcommander (approved July 2010)
Billetto (approved July 2010)
Despite the approval of the above payment systems, payments to and from the tournament pool may still take place by account transfer.
Requirements for the use of payment systems
If you as a licencee use one of the above payment systems, you must as a minimum enclose the following documentation from the system in the accounts:
- The name of the participants
- The date of payment
- The amount
- The number of the used payment card (last four digits)
You will receive a receipt from the payment system each time a payment has taken place to and from the tournament pool. The receipt includes the above documentation and therefore you only need to keep the receipt in the accounts.
Before the game in the public poker tournament begins, you must check that the payment card, which the participant has used, belongs to him or her. You can check this by comparing the name of the cardholder with the participant’s ID and compare the card number (the last four digits) with the receipt, which you have received from the payment system.
Be aware that the approval of alternative payment systems does not cause a change of the rest of the terms and conditions, which apply for a licence to organise public poker tournaments. E.g. it is still a requirement that accounts must be made for each tournament, and the participants must be registered upon arrival.
List of licence holders
The following gambling premises have a licence to provide public poker tournaments in Denmark. The list of addresses is in Danish and is sorted by postal codes. The list is regularly updated and has been updated 28 June 2022:
Riverclub, Værkstedsgården 7, 1. sal, 2620 Albertslund
John Tøms Poker, Bærvænget 2, 4. 4, 3400 Hillerød
Østermariehallen, Idrætsvej 1, 3751 Østermarie
Casino Næstved, Vinhusgade 10, 4700 Næstved
Øster Starup, Vester Nebel Idrætsforening, ØSVN IF's Sommerfest, Bavnehøj 175, 6040 Egtved
Cardroom Esbjerg, IF 92 Klubhus, Sportsvej 15, 6705 Esbjerg
Horne Kro, Hornelund 6, 6800 Varde
Fredericia Poker Klub, Nørrebrogade 16, 1. sal, 7000 Fredericia
WestPoker-Brande, Nørregade 14, 7330 Brande
Selling Poker Klub, Tåstrupvej 25, 8370 Hadsten
Horsens Poker Klub, Tebstrup Forsamlingshus, Horsensvej 117, 8660 Skanderborg
Randers Card Room, Erik Menvedsplads 2, 2., 8900 Randers
Høloftet, Hestestalden og Øster Sundby Selskabslokaler, Øster Sundby Vej 15, 9000 Aalborg
Aalborg Poker Room, Hjulmagervej 14, 9000 Aalborg