Spain’s Ombudsman calls for a national gambling advertising ban

Francisco Fernández Marugán, Spain’s national ombudsman, has called for a total ban on gambling advertising in order to limit the risk of gambling addiction.

However, lotteries and state-organized pool betting, as well as ONCE’s pool betting operations, would be exempted from the proposed ban.

If the government should decide against a total ban, the Ombudsman proposes that time slots during which gambling services may be advertised are further restricted. Additionally, popular role models should no longer be allowed to be used in gambling ads.

Despite mounting concerns about gambling addiction in the country, Spanish problem gambling rates have remained flat during the last tow years and are among the lowest in the EU.

Mikel López de Torre, president of trade association Jdigital, said that the Ombudsman’s advice was clearly misguided:

“We were very surprised by the actions of the Ombudsman for many reasons. Mainly because it shows, he does not know how the gambling regulatory frameworks in Spain. But furthermore, because he seems to be unaware of the fact that problem gambling is already covered by the National Plan on Drugs’ epidemic studies. Which show problem gambling prevalence in Spain is among the lowest in the world (0,3%).”

 

Spanish police arrests eleven football players and officials in match-fixing scandal

Spanish authorities have arrested at least eleven individuals, including first and second division football players, in connection to a far-reaching match-fixing scandal.

Among the detainees are former Real Madrid player and suspected ringleader Raúl Bravo and Agustín Lasaosa, chairman of second-division club Huesca.

The match fixers not only bet on specific results, but also on other game elements, such as halftime score and number of cards, to greatly increase their profits.

All detainees are accused of belonging to a criminal organization, corruption, and money laundering.

 

Upcoming events

The following events may be of interest to members of the GiS community.

  • Registration for this year’s Gaming in Holland Conference, taking place 5–6 June, 2019 in Amsterdam, is now open! Among this edition’s keynote speakers are Netherlands Gambling Authority chairman René Jansen, Holland Casino CEO Erwin van Lambaart, and – last but not least – investigative journalist, academic, and match-fixing expert Declan Hill.
  • Trade show EXPOJOC, which takes place 11–12 June, 2019 in Valencia, offers several useful workshops for both online and land-based operators.
  • GamblingCompliance’s Greek Gambling Regulation 2.0 regulatory briefing is scheduled to take place 19 June, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt in Athens.
  • 115+ speakers already confirmed their attendance at the World Gaming Executive Summit, 2 – 4 July, 2019 in Barcelona.
  • The IMGL Autumn 2019 Conference takes place September 11–13 in Munich.
  • Betting on Sports 2019, the world’s largest sports betting conference & exhibition, will be held 17 – 20 September, 2019, in London. Betting on Sports 2019 will take place concurrently with CasinoBeats Summit 2019.
  • The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) will hold its 2019 Annual Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 30 September to 3 October 2019.
  • The Responsibility in Gaming Conference, taking place 23 – 24 October, 2019 in Brussels, will focus on what operators and regulators can and should do to create an effective and workable responsible gaming policy.

Spanish regulator receives almost 60 general license applications during 2017-2018 licensing window

Spanish gambling regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) has received 59 applications for new general gambling licenses during the 2017-2018 licensing window, according to figures published in the regulator’s annual report. Four applications have been granted last year, while 55 are still pending.

In addition, 90 applications for singular licenses were received, of which 24 were granted in 2018, while the remaining 66 applications remain pending.

In Spain, licensed operators may apply for general licenses in the categories “betting,” “contests,” and “other games.” In order to run particular games, such as roulette, black jack, fixed-odds betting, or exchange betting, additional singular licenses are required for each specific game category.

Assuming that most applicants will have applied for both a betting and casino license (the “contests” category has not been very popular in recent years), it appears safe to conclude that at least thirty operators are planning to enter the Spanish market.

As the Spanish market already appears to be moving toward its saturation point, a large number of new market entrants will only increase the likelihood of a market shakeout in the short to medium term.

 

Other news

Spanish gambling operator Grupo Codere SA has rebranded its entire corporate identity, seeking to reflect the firm’s ongoing transition as a global gambling enterprise.

 

Earlier, Codere announced a series of changes to its organizational structure as part of an effort to simplify management processes and give more accountability to regional divisions.

 

Paf has been named the most responsible gaming company in Spain. It is the first internet gaming company to win the prize.

 

Sports data provider Sportradar and Spain’s Guardia Civil have signed a collaboration protocol in order to improve mutual cooperation in the fight against match-fixing.

 

La Liga has become the European football competition that offers the most online sports betting, ahead of the Premier League, the Bundesliga and the Serie A.

 

Grupo CIRSA has sued joint-venture partner Ladbrokes (GVC Holdings) in order to take full ownership of its “Sportium” subsidiary.

 

Spanish gambling firm Grupo CIRSA has confirmed that it has secured a €390 million bond placement with private investors.

 

Playtech has launched a new partnership with RETAbet, a leading sports betting operator in Spain, to offer an exclusive casino platform and its live casino suite to RETAbet customers.

 

The executive of Madrid Province has moved to install tougher restrictions on retail gambling premises, with a view to protecting “vulnerable groups.”

 

Spain regional audiovisual regulatory bodies and the National Commission for Markets and Transparency have pledged to develop a common strategy to promote the enactment of national regulations on online gambling advertising.

 

Basque country public broadcaster Euskal Irrati Telebista (EITB) has confirmed that it will no longer broadcastgambling-related advertising across its TV, Radio and digital platforms.

 

Sports betting solutions provider, Sportnco, has integrated Goldenpark.es into its platform in a bid to further strengthenits current Spanish growth.

 

Gaming Intelligence offers a helpful overview of gambling regulation across various Latin American countries.