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Gaming in Spain Newsletter - Podemos seeks to impose restrictions on bookmakers, betting advertising

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.


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