Spanish regulator looking for technological solutions to encourage responsible gambling

Over two hundred people representing regulators, responsible gambling experts, and operators attended the first edition of the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego’s (DGOJ) “RegTech egambling international workshop” on June 17, 2019.

The workshop aimed to explore possible technological solutions related to fighting identity fraud, promoting safe electronic payments, and discouraging unhealthy gambling behavior.

In all three fields, technology was identified as a powerful tool to be used in strengthening the regulation of the sector and in guaranteeing compliance with current laws.

“All of us, industry and regulators, must place consumer protection at the forefront. This is absolutely attainable with ever decreasing costs thanks to the evolution of technology and innovation. We can all help build a safer environment if we make the most of these instruments to guarantee the social sustainability of gambling in the long run,” Juan Espinosa, Director General for Gambling Regulation, said.

 

Nearly 85% of Spanish adults engage in gambling

A large majority, nearly 85% of all Spaniards between 18 and 75, engaged in some form of gambling in 2018.

This is one of main findings of the market study Gambling and Society 2018 by CEJUEGO, the industry association representing Spain’s private gambling operators, and the Institute of Policy and Governance of the Carlos III University of Madrid.

The most popular forms of gambling in Spanish society are the SELAE and ONCE state-run lottery products. No fewer than 25.5m Spaniards participated in last year’s Christmas “el Gordo” lottery.

Only 1.5m Spaniards gambled online in 2018, with, on average, 600,000 people participating in an online game of chance in any given month.

Spain remains among the countries with the lowest rates of problem gambling, the study also found. The problem gambling rate in Spain is at 0.3% and, according to CEJUEGO, “has not increased in recent years.”

Another encouraging sign is that 92% of respondents see gambling as just another leisure option, likening the money wagered to the price of a ticket for a theme park or paying for drinks at a bar.

 

Upcoming events

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

  • SBC’s new fortnightly Betting on Sports webinar series opens on Wednesday 10 July 2019 (15:00 GMT) with Rare Breed – Betting on Politics.
  • 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.
  • Kindred’s Sustainable Gambling Conference takes place 8 October, 2019 in Copenhagen.
  • 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.
  • World Regulatory Briefing now offers a series of free webinars on topics related to responsible gaming.

DGOJ “pleased” with results of online licensing process

During the last licensing window, around thirty operators applied for a remote license to operate in the Spanish market. Several applications have now been accepted by the DGOJ, including those of well-known international operators LeoVegas and the Gaming Innovation Group. The full list of currently licensed operators is available here.

Asked for comment, deputy director José Antonio García García said that the DGOJ was pleased with the application and licensing process: “It reflects the natural evolution of the online gambling market and we are happy that there are gambling operators who are interested in the Spanish market.”

“Our expectation is that new licensees will add value to the Spanish online gambling market and that they will conduct themselves with honesty and responsibility, aligning with the high standards of protection and security achieved since the opening of the market in Spain,” García García added.

However, García García also said that receiving a license is “only the first step” for operators. The DGOJ will continue to monitor their activities; and, if necessary, take enforcement action against any operator who violates the prevailing licensing conditions.

 

Other news

Improved performances from both the sports betting and casino verticals helped push Spanish online gaming revenue up 20.1% year-on-year in the first quarter.

 

A draft bill prohibiting Spanish-licensed operators from offering bets on events featuring non-adult athleteshas been made available for public consultation.

 

The Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego has outlined its strategy for the period 2019-2022.

 

In his annual report, Spain’s National Ombudsman once again points to the dangers of gambling and gambling advertising.

 

William Hill will significantly expand its Spanish market coverage and profile, as Spanish news reports detail that the FTSE bookmaker will sponsor seven La Liga 2 (Segunda) football clubs.

 

GVC Holdings European sportsbook property bwin will act as the main sponsor of Spanish football club Valencia CF until 2020.

 

Rank Group has announced plans to launch a Spain-facing sportsbook via its Enracha brand after renewing its deal with sportsbook provider Kambi.

 

Javier Sacristán Franco has been appointed the new Director of R. Franco Digital.

 

UK online gambling operator Bet365 has made its official launch into Mexico’s digital market via the Bet365.mx domain.

 

Colombian football legend Carlos Valderrama has agreed to front Codere’s marketing campaign in the country.