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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!

Spain set for clampdown on gambling ads

Spain set for clampdown on gambling ads

Gambling operators in Spain could soon face tougher advertising rules as the government looks to introduce restrictions similar to those placed on tobacco.

Various sources in the Spanish press have reported that the new regulations will form part of the 2019 Budget, which will be put to the European Union today (Monday).

Read the Full Article Here – iGaming Business

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.

 

The Spanish media would lose 133 million euros in case of an advertising ban

The Spanish media would lose 133 million euros in case of an advertising ban


Bet365, 888Sport.es, Betfair, William Hill, Paf, Interwetten, Sportium, Bwin y Wanabet. Nombres habituales para quienes siguen las retransmisiones de los partidos de fútbol tanto en prensa digital, radio o televisión. Nombres que son familiares para espectadores y oyentes aunque no hayan jugado un euro en su vida. La culpa de esta saturación publicitaria la tienen los 133 millones de euros anuales que el juego destina a promocionarse.

Empresas que además pagan patrocinios a periodistas deportivos y que concentran casi la mitad de la publicidad que se emite en programas deportivos de radio como Tiempo de Juego de Cope o Carrusel Deportivo de Cadena Ser, según un informe del Consejo Audiovisual de Cataluña que además advierte que “los mensajes de estas casas de apuestas pueden aparecen incluso intercalados con los comentarios del partido como “consejos” de los locutores”.

Read the Full Article Here Elespanol

Tempobet renews away games ad deal with Real Madrid and Barcelona – Gaming Intelligence

Tempobet renews away games ad deal with Real Madrid and Barcelona – Gaming Intelligence

Online betting and gaming operator Tempobet has renewed 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.

The six-figure agreement will see the operator’s logo feature on pitch-side LED boards in television broadcasts throughout Latin America and Europe, excluding Spain.

Read the Full Article Here – Gaming Intelligence

Betsson launches loyalty programme in Spain | EGR Intel 

Betsson launches loyalty programme in Spain | EGR Intel 

betsson-loyalty-programme

Betsson.es users can collect points on both casino and sportsbook and exchange them for bonuses.

Betsson’s Spanish brand has launched a new loyalty programme that enables users to accumulate points that can be exchanged for bonuses. Betsson Points, which translates to ‘programa de puntos’ on its Betsson.es domain, can be collected via both its casino and sportsbook products.

Read the Full Article Here – EGR Intel 

DGOJ and other EU Regulators Statement: Declaration of gambling regulators on their concerns related to the blurring of lines between gambling and gaming

DGOJ and other EU Regulators Statement: Declaration of gambling regulators on their concerns related to the blurring of lines between gambling and gaming

videogames-Cropped-560x380

Global gambling regulators have teamed up to voice their concerns about skins gambling and loot boxes in video games.

Fifteen gambling regulators from across Europe, as well as Washington State Gambling Commission, have signed an agreement to work together to address the risks created by the blurring of lines between gaming and gambling.

Read the Full Article Here – Gambling Commision

DGOJ receives the IMGL Award in Prague

DGOJ receives the IMGL Award in Prague

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The Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling, recognized as ‘Regulator of the European game of 2018’ by the IMGL association .

  • The award is a recognition of the activity of the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling

The IMGL (International Masters of Gaming Law) association has recognized the Directorate General of Gaming Regulation of the Ministry of Finance, in the person of its General Director, Juan Espinosa, as “European Game Controller of the year 2018”.

Read the Full Article Here – Jugarbien

Ceuta will require staff to be located for tax reduction to apply -Ceuta exigirá al online que traslade al personal para lograr la rebaja fiscal

Ceuta will require staff to be located for tax reduction to apply -Ceuta exigirá al online que traslade al personal para lograr la rebaja fiscal

The Government of Ceuta will demand that gambling companies transfer at least half of their staff to the autonomous city if they wish to benefit from the significant 50 percent tax reduction that has already come into effect for online gambling in this Spanish territory.

This has been reiterated by sources of the executive Ceuta consulted by the agency Europa Press, which have stressed that the approach is to require that “at least 50 percent of the company’s staff in Spain is based in the autonomous city” and that said personnel “account for at least half of the personnel costs in the country”

Read the Full Article Here – Gaming Intelligence in Spanish

Spanish sports betting revenues up 47% in Q2

Spanish sports betting revenues up 47% in Q2

55% rise in marketing spend fuels double-digit rises in all egaming verticals.

Spanish sports betting revenues rose by 46.7% year-on-year during the second quarter of 2018, according to new figures from the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ). Sports betting revenues rose to €87.6m during the period, with pre-match betting rising by 32.7% during the quarter, rises which the regulator attributed to the FIFA World Cup…

Read the Full Article Here – EGR Compliance