Articles by: Sarah Tilley

Gaming in Spain Newsletter – Gaming in Spain Conference announces new sponsors for Madrid iGaming derby …and more!

Sportradar acquires Optima

Sports data and content supplier Sportradar has confirmed the acquisition of Seville-based sports betting and gaming omnichannel platform business Optima, with the deal effective immediately.

Optima will extend Sportradar’s current betting services portfolio to become a full-service B2B data, betting, trading and player management platform business. This will create a global “one-stop-shop” technology and services business capable of offering a complete turnkey solution including a dedicated sports betting and iGaming platform supported by existing leading sports data, risk management and marketing services.

“Optima joining Sportradar is the next natural step in the achievement of our company vision,” said Jacob Lopez, Chief Executive Officer of Optima. “There are numerous and evident product synergies between the two companies and we are excited about the potential of the combination of the leading trading, risk management and betting entertainment services with the leading integral omnichannel sports betting and gaming platform.”

 

DGOJ and tax authority sign cooperation agreement

Spanish regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) and tax agency Agencia Estatal de Administracíon Tributaria (AEAT) have signed a new cooperation agreement.

Under the new agreement, the DGOJ will have access to updated data on operators’ compliance with their tax obligations, the payments they make to the AEAT, and the payments and withholdings related to State Lottery prizes.

In exchange, the DGOJ will provide AEAT with data related to player accounts, in order to fight more effectively against tax evasion and fraud.

 

Upcoming Events

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

  • Join MGM, Google, Hard Rock, GVC, Facebook, The Stars Group, William Hill, and many more in New York City, November 5 – 6, at Sports Betting USA.
  • On 5 November, 2019, the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS) will organize a lunch seminar on match-fixing and the new directives for betting on Swedish sports. If you wish to attend, RSVP no later than October 31 to gustaf.hoffstedt@bos.nu.
  • The second edition of European Gaming Congress, which will be held on 8 November 2019 in Milan, is specially designed to bring together industry experts, regulators, operators, and service providers from all across Europe in order to discuss issues such as compliance in licensing, operations, and marketing.
  • Attend Reputation matters: the gambling sector in the spotlight on 7 November, 2019 in London to learn more about the key issues and challenges surrounding the public perception of the gambling industry. Kenny Alexander, CEO of GVC, will deliver the opening keynote.
  • GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2020, which celebrate excellence in compliance and responsible gambling initiatives, will be awarded on 22 April, 2020 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London.
  • The World Gaming Executive Summit will return to Barcelona from 30 June – 2 July,  2020. Key themes on the agenda include AI, the future of land-based gaming, CSR, sustainable marketing, regulation updates, fantasy sports, and emerging marketing opportunities.
  • World Regulatory Briefing now offers a series of free webinars on topics related to responsible gaming.

 

Gaming in Spain Conference announces new sponsors for Madrid iGaming derby

The 2019 Gaming in Spain Conference has been set up as a veritable iGaming derby. After spending the first conference day at the iconic Santiago Bernabéu, the second-day sessions will all be held at the state-of-the-art Wanda Metropolitano.

One conference, one city, two stadiums!

To celebrate this derby, Gaming in Spain Conference attendees may participate in a free draw to win a Real Madrid or Atlético Madrid football jersey. Don’t miss out and register today!

Having the 2019 GiS Conference at both these prime locations has been made possible by the generous support of our strategic partners: BetConstruct, Betradar, and Jdigital; our sponsors: Asensi Abogados, Betgenius, EngageMore, GiG, HooYu, IDnow, Leaseweb, MDF Partners, Microgaming, Midway AI, and Win in Melilla, as well as our media partners CalvinAyre, Casino News, Focus Gaming News, GamblingCompliance, Gambling Insider, iGamingCalendar.com, Online Casino Reports, SBCNews, and 5 Star iGaming Media.

 

Other news

A national investigation by the Spanish police found little evidence of underage gambling across the country’s licensed gambling premises. Trade association Jdigital expressed its support for the investigation.

 

Technology can play a key role in tackling problem gambling, says Jdigital chairman Mikel Lopez.

 

Last month, the DGOJ met other European regulators to support a common framework for online gaming.

 

Spain’s Competition & Markets Authority (CNMC) has allowed Grupo CIRSA to acquire bookmaker Sportiumoutright, permitting the Blackstone owned operator the right to purchase Ladbrokes 50% joint-venture shareholding.

 

888 is planning to establish an operation hub in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in a bid to improve its tax efficiency in the Spanish market.

 

Sisal is also planning to open a new office in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta to aid its expansion into the Spanish gaming market.

 

The mayor of San Roque has asked the Spanish government to grant tax advantages in order to attract online gaming companies to Spain’s Gibraltar region (Campo de Gibraltar).

 

Barcelona’s City Council has ruled that it will not permit the opening of any new gambling establishments for a period of one year.

 

Valencia’s municipal government has updated its laws governing gambling establishments operating within its jurisdiction.

 

GentingBet has announced Guillem Balagué as the operators newest football Ambassador for the 2019/20 season.

 

In a bid to prioritize responsible gambling measures, Åland Islands-based operator Paf has lowered its maximum annual loss limit from €30,000 to €25,000.

 

Better Collective has acquired 19,99% of the shares in responsible gaming outfit Mindway AI

 

Bolsa Madrid gambling group Codere SA will launch an investigation into the auditing of its Latin American business unit, as the firm admits to inconsistencies published in its year-to-date financial reporting

 

Bethard Group has become the latest member of the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA).

 

Mondobets, the first online betting operator with a professional fantasy football league, has collected over €1m during its latest financing round, thanks to the contribution of 159 investors through the alternative financing platformFellow Funders.

Gaming in Spain Newsletter – DGOJ “pleased” with results of online licensing process …and more!

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.

Gaming in Spain Newsletter – Spanish regulator receives almost 60 general license applications during 2017-2018 licensing window …and more!

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.

Gaming in Spain Newsletter – DGOJ launches civic awareness campaign to protect minors from betting-related harm …and more!

Gaming in Spain Newsletter – DGOJ launches civic awareness campaign to protect minors from betting-related harm …and more!

19 out of 20 La Liga clubs sponsored by gambling operators

19 out 20 clubs in Spain’s top football league are – in some form or another – sponsored by licensed betting or online casino operators. The single exception is Real Sociedad.

Bet365 has contracts with no less than ten La Liga teams: Athletic Club, Celta, Eibar, Espanyol, Getafe, Huesca, Rayo Vallecano, Betis, Valladolid and Villarreal.

Betway sponsors three clubs: Alavés, Leganés, and Levante.

Betfair sponsors FC Barcelona and Sevilla, while Bwin sponsors Atlético de Madrid and Valencia.

Three operators have a sponsorship contract with a single club: Codere with Real Madrid, Marathonbet with Girona FC, and El Dorado with Huesca.

 

Spanish-licensed operator Paf reveals impact of high rollers on gross gaming surplus and vows to ban excessive spenders by 2020

A large proportion of operators’ revenue is typically generated by a small number of “high rollers,” players who might easily spend tens of thousands of euros annually.

As Spanish-licensed operator Paf believes that such spending rates are irresponsible and unsustainable for the vast majority of their high-rolling customers, it started implementing an annual customer spending limit of €30,000 in September 2018. Additionally, the operator decided to stop direct marketing to at-risk players.

So far, the measures have cost Paf €4 million annually in lost revenue, but the operator believes that the new restrictions are necessary for the long-term health of the sector. The annual customer spending limit will be fully implemented by 2020, according to the company.

As part of its efforts to make the sector more transparent and sustainable, Paf also decided to publish its player statistics, which show that players who lost more than €30,000 in 2018 (0.13% of all customers) were responsible for almost 10% of the operator’s total gross gaming surplus.

“We are probably the first gaming company in the world to show openly and transparently what our customer database looks like. These are the figures that most gaming companies want to hide because it shows that a few individuals can have an enormous impact on their operating results,” says Paf CEO Christer Fahlstedt.

“We need a genuine debate. By being transparent we want to highlight this issue, which is absolutely crucial for the future of the industry. We urge our colleagues in the gaming industry to share their corresponding figures,” adds Fahlstedt.

 

Online operators in licensed markets under increasing pressure over “excessive advertising”

In a further sign that European regulators are increasingly losing patience with operators over their advertising practices, Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen has set out plans to crack down on excessive advertising in the country’s regulated market.

Operators that breach regulations could face an official warning, financial penalty, or even a revocation of their license.

In an attempt to head off further regulatory intervention, Sweden’s leading gambling trade associations Spelbranschens Riksförbund (SPER) and Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) have set out a new code of conduct for members to tackle concerns over excessive advertising in the newly-regulated market.

Meanwhile, the Danish Online Gambling Association (DOGA) has also decided to launched a new industry-led code of conduct for online gambling operators. Responsible advertising, sponsorships and marketing are all included in new industry agreement.

 

EGBA urges better enforcement of EU single market rules

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) urges the incoming European Commission and Parliament to focus on ensuring the Single Market rules are better implemented and enforced to benefit European consumers, particularly in the online environment:

“Making the Digital Single Market work for EU citizens who bet or play poker online is crucial – because today they are less well protected than a person who buys a plane ticket or a book online. A recent study by the City University of London attributed Europe’s failure to protect online gamblers to the highly fragmented nature of the national policy rules for online gambling. The study showed that the Digital Single Market is failing to protect online gamblers and found that only one country has fully implemented the Commission’s       guidelines aimed at providing EU citizens a basic set on consumer protection measures dedicated to responsible gambling.”

 

Upcoming events

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

  • Betting on Sports America is the largest sports betting conference & exhibition in the US, featuring 175 leading industry speakers across 40 sessions. The event is scheduled to take place 23 – 25 April, 2019 in New York/New Jersey.
  • GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2019, which celebrate excellence in compliance and responsible gambling initiatives, will be awarded on 1 May, 2019 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London. The event will be hosted by comedian and acclaimed actor Stephen Mangan.
  • The 2019 EXPOJOC Conference and trade show is scheduled to take place 11 – 12 June, 2019 in Valencia.
  • 115+ speakers already confirmed their attendance at the World Gaming Executive Summit, 2 – 4 July, 2019 in Barcelona.
  • 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.

 

DGOJ launches civic awareness campaign to protect minors from betting-related harm

Spanish gambling regulatory authority Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) has launched a new civic awareness campaign, warning minors of the risks associated with gambling.

The campaign, which is titled “You don’t play with sports” (Con el deporte no se juega), is a combined initiative of the DGOJ, Spain’s national police and domestic professional football league La Liga.

Information material associated with the campaign will be used and distributed in schools.

 

Other news

Spanish regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) has issued new guidelines for drawing up operator-customer contracts, including accompanying dispute settlement mechanisms. The new guidelines are also subject to a public consultation.

 

Online gambling advertising is no longer allowed on the public broadcasting channels of TeleMadrid.

 

The battle between Grupo Codere investors and the enterprise founding Sampedro family continues to intensify.

 

Spanish gambling firm Grupo CIRSA reported 2018 group revenues of €1.4 billion and operating profits of €368 million, up 5% on its 2017 performance.

 

Spanish revenue of global online gambling firm 888 Holdings grew 8% in 2018 to a total of €60.3 million, making Spain the operator’s second-most important market (generating 13% of total group revenue).

 

In an interview with SBC News, Jacob Lopez, CEO of sports betting and gaming solutions provider OPTIMA, discusses his firm’s partnership with Betfred and the potential impact of new advertising restrictions on the Spanish market.

 

Bookmaker Retabet, sponsor of Bilbao Basket, has shown the slogan “Play responsibly” (“Juego responsable”) on the team’s jerseys in order to raise awareness of the potential risks associated with gambling.

 

Betsson.es allows punters to bet on the outcome of the upcoming Spanish national elections. Bettors expect the PSOE to become the largest party.

 

Alejandro Casanova has been appointed new Chief Operating Officer of MERKUR Casino International in Spain.

 

One lucky Spanish punter managed to win a combined bet with a payout ratio of 6,324/1.
Online sports betting is now officially legal in the Argentine Province of Buenos Aires.

Gaming in Spain Newsletter – Spain’s Advisory Board for Responsible Gaming (CAJR) holds first meeting …and more!

Gaming in Spain Newsletter – Spain’s Advisory Board for Responsible Gaming (CAJR) holds first meeting …and more!

Spain’s online market could be overheating

Spain’s online gaming market grew only modestly in the final quarter of 2018, despite a surge in marketing expenditure, new figures from the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) have revealed.

Gross gaming revenue increased by 4.21% on a quarterly basis to €189.5m in the final three months of last year – a 10.74% year-on-year rise.

However, Spanish iGaming operators’ affiliate marketing spend increased by almost 30% during Q4 2018, to €9.7 million.

The relative modest growth in GGR indicates that the Spanish online market could soon lose some of its recent shine, says strategic consultancy firm Regulus Partners:

“[…] despite continued aggressive marketing support (50% revenue, net of bonuses; + 45% YoY), likely in part driven by the tax decrease and early ‘responses’ to the licensing window opening, the number of active players actually fell YoY by 8%. This suggests a market which might be capable of growth but that is far from sustainable from a net contribution perspective for the vast majority of its licensees.

From a top-down perspective, positioning in Spain still appears attractive in terms of macro trends and liberal regulation. However, from a bottom-up perspective, too many operators seem to have decided that is the case in an undifferentiated way, causing overheating and potentially signs that the market could start to disappoint.”

 

Jdigital debunks online gambling myths

Trade association Jdigital has released an infographic debunking three widely-held myths regarding online gambling in Spain.

The infographic points out that regulated online gambling is not anonymous and that playing behavior is closely monitored to detect early signs of pathological gambling behavior.

Furthermore, contrary to what is often maintained, the obligation of licensed operators to identify their players means that minors are not increasingly gambling online. In fact, minors are by definition excluded from all licensed offerings.

Finally, licensed operators do not systematically profit from gambling addicts. Whenever unhealthy behavior is observed, various protocols and control measures automatically kick in to further prevent players from losing control.

 

Spain to create a National Commission to fight match-fixing and fraudulent betting

The Spain Ministry of Finance has announced its intention to form a National Commission to combat match-fixing. The commission will be made up from representatives from the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), sports federations, and the national police.

Stakeholders are invited to comment on the proposal until March 8.

 

Upcoming Events

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

  • Betting on Football, which is set to take place 19 – 22 March 2019 at Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC, is the only trade conference that brings together decision makers from international operators to address the recent issues and opportunities in the sports betting industry.
  • Betting on Sports America is the largest sports betting conference & exhibition in the US, featuring 175 leading industry speakers across 40 sessions. The event is scheduled to take place 23 – 25 April, 2019 in New York/New Jersey.
  • GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2019, which celebrate excellence in compliance and responsible gambling initiatives, will be awarded on 1 May, 2019 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London.
  • 115+ speakers already confirmed their attendance at the World Gaming Executive Summit, 2 – 4 July, 2019 in Barcelona.
  • 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.

 

Spain’s Advisory Board for Responsible Gaming (CAJR) holds first meeting

On February 25, the first meeting of the Advisory Board for Responsible Gaming (Consejo Asesor de Juego Responsable – CAJR) took place.

The CAJR consists of regulators, addiction care specialists, and industry representatives. A full member list is available here.

During its first meeting, the CAJR also invited two responsible gaming experts: Dr Susana Jiménez Murcia, Coordinator of the Pathological Gambling Unit of the University Hospital of Bellvitge and Dr. Mark Griffiths, Professor of Psychology and Director of the International Gaming Research Unit of the University of Nottingham Trent.

The CAJR furthermore discussed the proposed Royal Decree on gambling advertising and responsible gaming, as well as measures to prevent the participation of minors in games of chance.

 

Other news

Spanish regulator DGOJ has made a kit of utilities available to online operators to facilitate the electronic age and ID verification of prospective players.

 

Gaming lawyer Santiago Asensi Gisbert, managing partner of Asensi Abogados, has been selected as a “star individual” entry in Chambers Global 2018.

 

Trade association Jdigital has requested that future advertising restrictions will also apply to state-owned operators.

 

ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) has published an extensive response to the proposed Spanish sports betting integrity framework.

 

ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) reported 267 cases of suspicious betting to the relevant authorities during 2018. Tennis (178) and football (52) constituted 86% of all alerts during the year.

 

Grupo Codere SA closes its full-year 2018 accounts reporting group-wide losses of €40 million, primarily attributed to significant Argentine market adjustments.

 

Codere has extended its partnership with sports betting supplier Playtech BGT Sports. The new contract, which will last until the end of 2022, covers Codere’s retail and online presence in Spain, Mexico, Panama, and Colombia.

 

Betfred will open an office in Ceuta in order to take advantage of the tax benefits offered by the Spanish government to gaming companies based in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

 

GentingBet has applied for a casino and sports betting license in Spain and is planning to go live in the market by the end of 2019.

 

After five years of decline, online poker GGR has grown 37% in 2018, according to trade association Jdigital.

 

Spanish poker player Ramón Colillas has joined Team PokerStars.

 

The City of Valencia has decreed that the buses and bus stops of the municipal transport company can no longer carry advertising for online gambling operators.

 

MEP Ana Mirande of the Bloque Nacionalista Galega (BNG) has asked the European Commission to consider instituting a single set of online gambling regulations for the entire EU.

 

New sports betting market entrant Carousel Group has a large number of job openings available at its Madrid office.

 

Colombian gambling regulatory body Coljuegos announced the issuing of its 17th online gambling license to Bogotá-based Betjuego.co.

 

Gaming technology supplier PlayAGS has entered into a partnership with Ainsworth-powered online casino Mustang Money Mexico as it seeks to establish a presence in the Mexican iGaming market.

Gaming in Spain Newsletter -Spanish industry representatives join new responsible gaming advisory board …and more!

Gaming in Spain Newsletter -Spanish industry representatives join new responsible gaming advisory board …and more!

Looking back at a successful Gaming in Spain Conference

Over 150 delegates from 18 countries gathered in Madrid on November 8 to discuss the latest developments in the fast-growing Spanish gaming market at the 2018 Gaming in Spain Conference.

The following conference presentations were recorded and are now available on YouTube:

Photographs of the event can be viewed here.

 

Jdigital and Adigital release statement on the relation between online gaming and gambling addiction

Trade associations Jdigital, representing the Spanish online gaming industry, and Adigital, representing the interests of Spanish businesses active in the digital economy, have released a joint statement on the perceived relationship between online gaming and the growth of gambling addiction in the country.

The associations point out that online gaming generates only a small part (6%) of the revenues of the gaming sector as a whole. Furthermore, the number of problem gamblers in Spain is low – 0.3% of the population. Moreover, only a minority of problem gamblers (16.2%) wager online.

Likewise, it should be noted that online gaming advertising represents only 0.77% of total advertising investment in Spain in 2017, according to figures supplied by Infoadex.

“Therefore, we consider it unfair and wrong to point to online gaming as primarily or exclusively responsible for the issue of problem gambling,” the joint statement concludes.

 

Spanish online GGR up 30% in Q3

Spanish online GGR grew 29.86% year-on-year to €181.77m during Q3 2018, according to new figures released by the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ).

Betting generated €97.65m in turnover (53.72% of total online quarterly GGR), a 27.41% increase year-on-year.

The casino vertical generated €60.85m (33.48%) and grew 39.19% y-o-y.

Poker revenues jumped 35% y-o-y to €19.8m (10.89%).

Total marketing spending during the quarter came to €75.85m, a 56.26% increase y-o-y.

The monthly average of active users during the third quarter was 812,007, up 30.71% compared to the same period in the previous year.

 

Online operators contribute €325m to European sports, sustain 33,000 EU jobs across 14 member states

European online gambling operators are contributing €325m to sports and employing 33,000 workers across the European Union, according to new data released by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA:

“Europe’s online gambling sector is a growing and popular form of digital entertainment – but with this growth comes responsibility to ensure that people are kept safe while playing on online gambling websites. This new data shows EGBA members are at the forefront of             the sector’s development, interacting with millions of customers and processing nearly a million payment transactions each day.”

For additional key figures about the EU-28 online gambling market, see here.

 

Upcoming Events

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

 

Spanish industry representatives join new responsible gaming advisory board

Representatives from some of Spain’s leading gaming operators and suppliers will be part of a new advisory board that will help define the country’s responsible gaming strategy.

The Advisory Council on Responsible Gaming (Consejo Asesor del Juego Responsible – CAJR) was created in 2013, but without a formalized structure. Late last month, the tasks and structure of the CAJR were more closely defined by an order of the Spanish Minister of Finance.

The updated role of the CAJR will be to provide appropriate assistance, guidance and advice to Spanish regulator DGOJ in the formulation, monitoring and execution of its public policies regarding responsible gambling.

Among the 25 new members appointed to the CAJR are Sportium CEO Alberto Eljarrat, R. Franco vice president María José Gallardo, and Luckia’s legal counsel Francisco Feijoo. Also represented are social health and consumer rights advocates. The CAJR will be chaired by Juan Espinosa García, the president of the DGOJ.

“The working group represents all parties involved in the industry, and will allow the collection of points of views from all sides, with the aim of promoting responsible gaming,” Sportium CEO Eljarrat said.

 

Other news

Spanish regulator DGOJ has published an updated version of its strategy for supervising the Spanish gaming industry.

 

The Spanish government has proposed a €100,000 fine for offering unlicensed online gambling.

 

Following the publication of its Q3 2018 trading update in which the company posted year-to-date net losses of €55 million, Madrid-based operator Codere has witnessed its share price collapse, as sharp devaluation of Latin American currencies proved costly for the operator.

 

Playtech has partnered with Betclic and Unibet in France, and bet365, Betfair, Casino Barcelona and Sportium in Spain to launch its shared-liquidity iPoker network in France and Spain.

 

Betting service provider Sportium has entered into a partnership with the Apuesta Hípica y Deportiva Iberia (AHDI), the company that operates Seville’s Gran Hipódromo de Andalucía racetrack.

 

The online platform of Casino Barcelona has signed a content partnership with gaming solutions supplier Yggdrasil.

 

Gaming in Holland founder Willem van Oort discusses the latest regulatory developments in Spain and the “mild chaos” holding back the Dutch industry in the latest issue of Trafficology (pp. 23-24).

 

Gaming in Spain Newsletter – “Number of minors who manage to gamble online is negligible” …and more!

Mr Green CEO to speak at Gaming in Spain Conference

Jesper Kärrbrink, CEO of Mr Green Ltd., has confirmed his attendance at the upcoming Gaming in Spain Conference.

Mr Kärrbrink will give a presentation on “Why responsible gaming makes business sense.”

Ceuta officials to offer first-hand details on favorable local tax regime

Additionally, officials representing the Spanish autonomous city Ceuta will attend the GiS Conference to provide a detailed explanation of the significant new tax breaks that are available to iGaming companies based in the North African enclave.

Located only 20 kilometers from the Spanish mainland, Ceuta is an excellent base of operations for iGaming companies looking to profit from a special tax regime. With a number of important new tax breaks in place, the city has the potential to become an attractive alternative to post-Brexit Gibraltar.

The following officials have confirmed their attendance:

  • Guillermo Martínez, Senator (Partido Popular) representing Ceuta
  • Enrique Reyes, General Manager at Ceuta’s Revenue Service (Organismo Autónomo Servicios Tributario de Ceuta)
  • Emilio Fernández, Director of Legal Services at Organismo Autónomo Servicios Tributario de Ceuta

Full agenda now available

The event’s agenda is now available on the conference website.

When & where

The 2018 Gaming in Spain Conference will be held November 7-8, 2018, at Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid.

Includes behind-the-scenes stadium tour

Registered conference attendants will be offered the opportunity to participate in a behind-the-scenes stadium tour of Wanda Metropolitano, host venue of the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final, followed by business drinks and a networking dinner.

Exclusive offer for Jdigital members

Jdigital members receive an exclusive 15% discount on standard price tickets if they register through this link. Please note: this offer is strictly limited to current members of Jdigital.

 

Spanish government: no plans for absolute prohibition of gambling advertising

Spain’s Finance Minister María Jesús Montero announced that the government would “soon”release specific details on its forthcoming online gambling advertising restrictions.

Montero further claimed that the government had no plans to impose an “absolute prohibition of publicity” like the kind recently imposed in Italy, as gambling is “a legal activity regulated by the government.”

However, gambling advertising would be restricted to “environments where it does not harm consumption.”

Specifically, this would mean that gambling advertising would be banned from airing during periods in which minors would be likely to be watching or listening and during live sports events. Role models, i.e., celebrities and star athletes, would also be barred from participating in gambling marketing.

Earlier, the current minority PSOE government and opposition party Podemos struck a budget deal stating that gambling operators in Spain would soon face severe advertising restrictions “similar to those placed on tobacco.”

Although the introduction of a near prohibition of gambling advertising could have a significant impact on Spain’s gaming market, there are still several major political and legal roadblocks ahead for the government’s proposal, local experts told Gaming in Spain.

 

Upcoming events

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

  • Join EGR Global’s Breakfast Briefing on “Changing the culture around gambling – consumer and industry behaviours” on 2 November in London.
  • The 2018 Gaming in Spain Conference, which takes place 7-8 November, in Madrid, is your single stop to stay informed of the increasingly attractive opportunities offered by the booming Spanish online gaming market. Click here to register.
  • Clarion Gaming has launched ICE Sports Betting USA, a two-day event to be held in New York on 27 and 28 November, 2018.

 

“Number of minors who manage to gamble online is negligible”

Despite abundant reporting in the Spanish media about children who are supposedly gambling online, the number of minors who actually manage to do so is “negligible,” according to Cecilia Pastor, Subdirectora General de Inspección del Juego at Spanish regulator DGOJ.

“There is no cause for alarm,” Pastor added.

Nonetheless, the DGOJ is further tightening up player registration procedures.

According to new rules that will soon be implemented, players whose identity has not yet been positively verified with the help of documentary evidence will only be able to deposit up to 150 euros and play games, but will not be able to withdraw any funds.

The full interview with Pastor is available here.

 

Other news

The regulators of Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Portugal and Spain agreed to deepen their cooperation with respect to online payment processors who provide services to unlicensed gambling providers.

 

Spanish gambling regulator DGOJ has launched a mobile app to make it easier for people struggling with gambling addiction to self-exclude from betting services in the country.

 

The DGOJ invites all stakeholders in the gambling sector to participate in a public consultation on the recently published draft law to prevent fiscal fraud.

 

In a bid to compete with post-Brexit Gibraltar and even Malta, the autonomous city of Ceuta has been proposing a number of additional local tax breaks to lure iGaming firms to the North African enclave.

 

Casino Gran Madrid has signed an agreement with R. Franco Digital to integrate their games into its online casino platform.

 

Casino Barcelona’s online platform CasinoBarcelona.es launched a multi-channel advertising campaign to promote its recently added online sports betting section.

 

Portugal has issued online sports betting and casino licenses to Spanish gaming operator Luckia.

 

Bwin has sharpened its focus on Spanish-speaking markets with a new casino content deal with Spanish developer MGA.

 

Betsson has revamped the design of its Spanish website to improve user experience, especially for mobile devices.

 

Gaming tech supplier OPTIMA has won the Cloud Systems Management award at the Oracle Innovation Excellence Awards 2018.

 

According to some estimates, Spanish gambling operators could earn more than $1 billion in annual gross revenues by 2023.

 

Working alongside Spanish gambling regulator DGOJ, La Liga’s integrity unit has reported 39 suspicious betting alerts during the 2017/18 Spanish football season, which resulted in nine criminal court cases prosecuting match-fixing offenses.

 

Perform Content signed a four-year contract to market the streaming rights of Spanish La Liga football matches to betting operators.

 

Four European casino operators, including Grupo CIRSA, contend that Andorra’s recently concluded casino tender has been marred by grave irregularities.

 

In this video, GamblingCompliance’s Managing Editor, Joe Ewens, runs through the recent changes in gambling advertising regulation across Europe and what this will mean for key jurisdictions such as Italy, the UK and Sweden.

 

Several Spanish court have ruled that punters may use gambling losses to limit their tax liability on their winnings.

 

The Community of Madrid seeks to reinforce physical access controls to gaming halls.

 

Portugal’s government has scrapped its recently announced plans to impose a new 25% flat tax on online gambling revenue.

 

Major UK expo organizer Clarion Gaming has released a new code of conduct disallowing “partial or total nudity or overtly sexual or suggestive clothing or marketing methods” at its trade shows.

Gaming in Spain Newsletter – Experts comment on Spanish proposals for tough gambling advertising rules

Following a budget deal between the current minority PSOE government and opposition party Podemos, gambling operators in Spain could soon face severe advertising restrictions “similar to those placed on tobacco.”

What will this mean for the industry? What else is in the budget deal? How likely is it that the proposed measures will actually be implemented? Read on to find out!

The budget deal

The new budget’s section on gambling (pp. 42-43) states that the proliferation of online gambling and aggressive advertising by online operators has caused “serious problems” with regard to pathological gambling behavior and gambling addiction.

In order to counter this development, the Spanish government and Podemos seek to introduce four distinct measures.

First, it is proposed that gambling advertising will be restricted in a similar manner as the advertising of tobacco products. Currently, tobacco brands are prohibited from offering sponsorships and, with a few exceptions, to advertise in Spanish media.

Second, the Spanish regulator will be asked to investigate whether additional preventive measures to increase players’ awareness of their gambling behavior can be added to the existing regulatory framework.

Third, operators must take a greater share of responsibility with regard to combating and repairing the negative social effects of gambling.

Fourth, a portion of the administrative fees paid by online operators will be reallocated to fund prevention and responsible gaming initiatives.

 

Industry reactions

In particular, the proposed restrictions on gambling advertising have not been welcomed by the Spanish gaming industry.

“We see a prohibition of or excessive limitations on advertising as a step back that will negatively impact licensed operators compared to black market operators. At present, advertising is the only weapon available to licensed operators against their unlicensed competitors,” Mikel López de Torre, President of online trade association Jdigital told La Vanguardia.

Alejandro Landaluce, Director-General of the CeJuego industry association, said that although the sector is not opposed to advertising regulation, it would be unfair to equate gambling advertising with the marketing of tobacco products.

Landaluce added that any new gambling advertising restrictions must be applied fairly and thus also apply to state-run lotteries and betting pools.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), acknowledges that gambling advertising can be excessive or misdirected, but also stresses the crucial importance of advertising for steering consumers toward licensed operators:

“Problem gambling is a legitimate public health concern – particularly for those gamblers and their families who are affected by it – and all stakeholders must work more closely together to tackle it.

It is important to recall that consumer protection was the single most important reason to introduce online gambling regulation in Spain. Online gambling was legalized with the explicit goal of creating a safe, reliable, and regulated environment for Spanish consumers to       play in. Advertising is an essential part of such an environment: it informs players which websites are licensed, regulated and subject to regulatory oversight by Spanish authorities. Without advertising, players will no longer be directed toward regulated offerings, which will result in lower levels of consumer protection and increasing risks of problem gambling.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that any and all advertising is good or acceptable. Despite the importance of advertising, legitimate concerns do exist about the content of gambling advertising and whether it is encouraging problematic gambling behavior. That is why EGBA supports measures that ensure advertising is responsible and informative, and does not entice problem gamblers or young people to gamble.”

 

Legal and political roadblocks

Although the introduction of a near prohibition of gambling advertising would have a significant impact on Spain’s (online) gaming market, there are still several major political and legal roadblocks ahead for the government’s proposal, local experts told Gaming in Spain.

Santiago Asensi, Managing Partner at Asensi Abogados:

“At this stage, it is too early to tell what exactly is going to happen and how the current declaration that gambling advertising should be regulated similar to tobacco products is going to be developed.

Over the last three years, the Spanish regulator has been working on an advertising bill, which – due to changing political circumstances – has not yet been approved. Said bill places additional restrictions on the current gambling advertising rules in Spain, but can still be considered a well-balanced regulatory tool in terms of protecting consumers as well as providing good advertising opportunities to the industry.

From a political perspective, the manner in which the recent declaration is going to be implemented remains uncertain. It is not clear, for instance, how long the current government will remain in power. In case the current government does manage to stay on, it        is, as of yet, uncertain how exactly the declaration will be incorporated in the advertising bill   proposed by the regulator.

Thus, I would say that the next two to three months are crucial in order to see how this issue is going to be resolved.”

Pedro López Martín-Andino, Managing Partner at MartínAndino Abogados:

“It is important to bear in mind that there is still a very long and complicated path to follow before the Spanish Budget Act for 2019 is finally approved. PSOE and Podemos still need to seek support from several nationalist political groups. Also, the Partido Popular still has majority in the Senate. Additionally, the political situation is very unstable. Thus, the definitive approval of the Budget Act looks uncertain.

To further complicate matters, the current Spanish Gaming Act states that the regulation of marketing and advertising activities related to online gaming must occur through a regulatory decision (i.e. a Royal Decree). For reasons of transparency, the procedure for the approval of a Royal Decree requires that a public consultation is opened, in order to hear from relevant stakeholders.

Thus, if the current government decides to include these new advertising restrictions directly in the Spanish Budget Act, they will be ignoring the procedure set forth in the Spanish Gaming Act, as well as the voice of the industry. It would be sad news indeed for those who defend legal certainty and a stable framework for doing business in Spain.

Last but not least, the regulation on the advertising of tobacco products in Spain follows the applicable EU Directives on this matter. Trying to equate tobacco advertising with advertising activities in a completely different sector, such as online gaming, seems to be            disproportionate, unfair and insufficiently thought through.”

 

Learn more at the upcoming Gaming in Spain Conference

To learn more of the Spanish government’s budget proposal, its implications and potential consequences, visit the 2018 Gaming in Spain Conference, as the newly proposed advertising restrictions will be a major topic at the conference.

The 2018 GiS Conference will feature:

  • local regulators: Juan Espinosa García, Director General de Regulación del Juego, Ministerio de Hacienda y Función Pública; Guillermo Olagüe Sánchez, Subdirector General de Regulación del Juego, DGOJ
  • legal experts: Santiago Asensi, Managing Partner at Asensi Abogados; Pedro López Martín-Andino, Managing Partner at MartínAndino Abogados
  • national and international industry representatives: Mikel López de Torre, President of Jdigital; Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA
  • and many more!

This 2018 Gaming in Spain Conference will take place November 7-8, 2018, at Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, home stadium of Atlético Madrid FC and host venue of the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final.

Register now!

Gaming in Spain Newsletter – Podemos seeks to impose restrictions on bookmakers, betting advertising …and more!

Gaming in Spain Newsletter – Podemos seeks to impose restrictions on bookmakers, betting advertising …and more!

Spanish regulators meet with industry at Gaming in Spain Conference

Meet with Spanish regulators

Just a bit over a month ahead of the closing of the current licensing window on December 17, attendees of the Gaming in Spain Conference will have one last opportunity to hear from and meet with local regulators.

Juan Espinosa García, Director General de Regulación del Juego, Ministerio de Hacienda y Función Pública, and Guillermo Olagüe Sánchez, Subdirector General de Regulación del Juego, DGOJ, will both address the expected impact of the third licensing window on Spain’s online market, as well as the country’s current regulatory outlook.

Don’t miss it. Register now!

Other speakers & key conference topics

Other confirmed speakers include:

  • Mikel López de Torre, President of Jdigital and Digital Director at Sportium
  • Santiago Asensi, Managing Partner at Asensi Abogados
  • Pedro López Martín-Andino, Managing Partner at MartínAndino Abogado
  • Pedro Fernández, Socio at Garrigues
  • Aurora Merino Salas, CEO of Asensi Technologies

Key conference topics are:

  • Market growth: organic growth and onboarding of gray market traffic
  • Tax reduction: now confirmed at 20% of GGR
  • Ceuta and Melilla: a reduced gambling tax rate for resident companies
  • New suppliers and new products (B2B and B2C)
  • Responsible Gaming awareness

New sponsors announced

We are proud to announce that several new strategic partners and sponsors have signed up to support the 2018 Gaming in Spain Conference.

We are extremely pleased that Betradar, leading supplier of sports betting data, Optima, provider of innovative gaming and betting software, as well as online trade association Jdigital have agreed to become strategic partners of the Gaming in Spain Conference.

We would also like to extend our thanks to our other sponsors: Asensi Abogados, BetConstruct, Betgenius, Ezugi, GameArt, Leaseweb, Microgaming, Mindway AI, Pentasia, R. Franco Digital, and Yggdrasil.

When & where

The fourth Gaming in Spain Conference will be held November 7-8, 2018 at Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, the home stadium of Atlético Madrid FC and host venue of the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final.

Click here to register.

 

Gaming in Spain website now live

The Gaming in Spain website, containing regular news updates, guest blogs, and our monthly newsletter, is now live! Check it out here.

 

Spain to overhaul problem gambling approach

The Spanish Drug Addiction Council (Consejo Español de Drogodependencias) has introduced gambling harm as an issue to be addressed in the country’s Action Plan on Addictions 2018 – 2020 (Plan de Acción sobre Adicciones 2018 – 2020).

The involvement of Spain’s Drug Addiction Council in drafting problem gambling policy follows the decision of last February by the Council of Ministers to reclassify gambling-related harm as a “drug addiction without substance.”

The Council of Ministers has requested that the Drug Addiction Council rewrite Spain’s National Addiction Strategy 2017 – 2024 (of which the Action Plan on Addictions 2018 – 2020 is a part) to include problem gambling behavior.

Yesterday, the new strategy also gained approval from the Sectoral Conference on Drugs (Conferencia Sectorial sobre Drogas), a political decision-making body made up of members of various offices of Spain’s central government.

More than a billion euros is available until 2024 to implement Spain’s National Addiction Strategy.

 

Guest blog by Santiago Asensi on regulatory pressure in relation to blurred lines between gaming and gambling

Spanish gaming lawyer Santiago Asensi has written a commentary on the recent declaration by sixteen international gambling regulators (including the DGOJ) on the blurring of lines between gaming and gambling.

According to Asensi, the declaration illustrates that it is increasingly crucial for regulators to establish firm lines that help define gambling products and distinguish these from non-gambling products.

The full article is available here.

 

Artificial intelligence predicts problematic gambling behavior

Mindway, winner of Gaming in Holland’s Responsibility in Gaming Award for Industry Innovation of the Year 2018, has developed a method based on artificial intelligence (AI), that is able to evaluate online gambling behavior and to successfully predict the need for self-exclusion, limit setting, or other responsible gaming measures.

Mindway’s AI furthermore generates targeted and individualized conversation guides that can be used in reaching out to customers, either online or by helpline staff.

 

Spain provides large talent pool to iGaming entrepreneurs

Giuliano Lafirenza of leading iGaming Recruitment agency Pentasia provides an update on the Spanish gaming talent market:

“Gaming operators and suppliers hiring in Spain generally find a good range of strong candidates, sourced either within the region or further afield […] Barcelona and Madrid remain the top locations for gaming operations, and talent is clustered around these areas. […]

Challenges come in the form of the sector’s own expansion – through new licenses – and closely related industries – such as ecommerce, fintech, payments – which will undoubtedly increase competition for talent. The growth of Spain’s overall tech sector is clearly good for gaming, but employers will need to remain aware of new jobs which may appeal to             valuable staff.”

 

Upcoming events

The following events may be of interest to members of the Gaming in Spain community.

  • The Responsible Marketing For Gambling Operators Conference, which focuses on the changing regulatory landscapearound promotions, will take place on October 3, 2018, in London.
  • On October 16, Kindred Group will host the Sustainable Gambling Conferencein Stockholm, Sweden. The conference aims to highlight different perspectives on sustainable gamblingby bringing together stakeholders from the industry, academia, and regulators.
  • The Lisbon Affiliate Conferencewill take place on 17-20 October 2018and is expected to bring together the key stakeholders in the iGaming affiliate industry.
  • Clarion Gaming has launchedICE Sports Betting USA, a two-day event to be held in New York on 27 and 28 November, 2018.

 

Podemos seeks to impose restrictions on bookmakers, betting advertising

Political group Podemos has requested that the Spanish government introduce additional restrictions on bookmakers, including a higher level of taxation and a complete ban on sports betting advertising.

More traditional forms of gambling, such as the football pools and lotteries, would be exempt from these new restrictions.

A complete ban on sports betting advertising would cost the media an estimated €133m annually.

Juan Espinosa García, Director General de Regulación del Juego at the Ministry of the Treasury, spoke up in defense of the sector, claiming that regulated remote gaming offers an opportunity to identity and address problematic gambling behavior.

“Podemos’ proposal shows how much work we have ahead of us to communicate the reality of the regulated gambling sector to the general public and political stakeholders,” Mikel López de Torre, President of Jdigital added.

Podemos’ calls for new betting restrictions will also be an important topic at the upcoming Gaming in Spain Conference. Book your place here.

 

Other news

Sportium, the Spanish market joint venture of Grupo Cirsa and Ladbrokes, has announced that it has reached a milestone 3,000 active betting points within Spain.

 

Publishing its latest corporate update, Cirsa reports a 3.2% increase in group revenues to €359 million for Q2 2018.

 

Three Codere directors, including the company’s founders, refused to sign off the company’s H1 financial results in another flare up of its boardroom war.

 

Mikel López de Torre, Director of Digital Services at Sportium, was reelected as Chairman of trade association Jdigital.

 

Betsson’s Spanish brand has launched a new loyalty program that enables users to accumulate points that can be exchanged for bonuses.

 

Online betting and gaming operator Tempobet hasrenewed its agreement with Spanish football giants Real Madrid and Barcelona to advertise at both clubs’ away league fixtures throughout the 2018/19 La Liga season.

 

Russian bookmaker Fonbet has become an official partner for Spain’s La Liga on a three year deal.

 

Real Madrid and ManBetx have signed an agreement to make the company the club’s new regional betting partner across the majority of Asia.

 

Operator Wanabet has signed up to become the official betting partner of basketball team Movistar Estudiantes.

 

Following a deal between Sportium and France’s Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU), Spanish horse racing fans are henceforth able to bet on French races.

 

Formula One has announced a sponsorship and data rights deal with sports marketing company Interregional Sports Group (ISG) that it said will enable the development of live in-play betting at Grand Prix.

 

Colombia’s gambling regulator issued its 13th and 14th online gaming licenses to Alfabet SAS and Teclino SAS, while the country’s 15th online gambling license was awarded to local subsidiary of Meridian Gaming.

 

Peruvian legislators have put forward a bill that would legalize online betting and gaming in the country.

 

Guest Blog: Gaming sector making the most of Spain’s strong talent market

Guest Blog: Gaming sector making the most of Spain’s strong talent market

An update on the Spanish gaming talent market from Pentasia’s Giuliano Lafirenza

Talent is fundamental to any successful gaming business. Spain remains an attractive region for the sector not only for its market, but also the quality and size of its gaming talent pool.

Gaming operators and suppliers hiring in Spain generally find a good range of strong candidates, sourced either within the region or further afield as expat candidates look to bring their experience back home. Barcelona and Madrid remain the top locations for gaming operations, and talent is clustered around these areas.

Internationally, Spain is renowned as an excellent location for digital innovation and entrepreneurship, with inflow of both talent and investment in tech. The gaming sector here largely employs specialist leadership talent, marketing functions, operations and customer service, whilst locating more substantial teams – such as tech – elsewhere in Europe.

Challenges come in the form of the sector’s own expansion – through new licenses – and closely related industries – such as ecommerce, fintech, payments – which will undoubtedly increase competition for talent. The growth of Spain’s overall tech sector is clearly good for gaming, but employers will need to remain aware of new jobs which may appeal to valuable staff.

Tax changes should also be considered from a talent perspective. Operators looking to benefit from a Ceuta or Melilla location will need to base senior leadership talent in the North African cities; a potential opportunity for many candidates, but unlikely to appeal to all. Staff across the sector will also expect to see at least some benefit from the more favourable conditions.

 

Pentasia is the world’s leading iGaming Recruitment agency, with offices in Barcelona, London, Malta, Las Vegas, New York and Singapore. Pentasia.com