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Gaming in Spain Newsletter - DGOJ launches civic awareness campaign to protect minors from betting

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. 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.


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