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Gaming in Spain Newsletter - Mikel Arana replaces Juan Espinosa as Director-General of the Spanish

Gaming in Spain webinar | A perfect storm? How to move forward in Spain’s new iGaming environment

On May 27 at 16:00 CET, Gaming in Spain will kick off its new webinar series with its first installment “A perfect storm? How to move forward in Spain’s new iGaming environment.”

In this webinar, we will discuss the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on Spain’s iGaming sector, the appointment of Mikel Arana as the new Director-General of the DGOJ, and the new Royal Decree on gambling advertising and responsible gambling.

Taken together, these developments have the potential to severely disrupt the status quo of the Spanish iGaming market. Our panelists will discuss what we can expect and how stakeholders can adjust.


  • Mikel López de Torre, Chairman of Jdigital

  • Eduardo Morales Hermo, Gambling & Betting Consultant at iGamingCo

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

Registration for the very first Gaming in Spain webinar is now open:

Series characteristics

  • Every six weeks

  • 45 minutes

  • Expert panels

  • True audience engagement

For more information, please contact Willem van Oort: Or register now:

How Covid-19 will affect the Spanish gaming industry

Mauro De Fabritiis, founder of strategic consulting firm MDF Partners, has published an in-depth analysis of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Spanish gambling industry on the Gaming in Spain website.

In his analysis, Mr De Fabritiis outlines the short and medium-term factors that will impact Spain’s gambling sector in 2020 and beyond.

While it is possible to “surf the wave” of the of the ongoing COVID-19 emergency (instead of being swallowed), a return to “normal” requires a rethinking of the business models to deal with the long-term impact of the emergency.

Read the full article here.

EGBA launches pan-European responsible advertising code

Last week, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) published the first pan-European Code of Conduct for responsible advertising for online gambling. The Code introduces essential standards for advertising content, across all media platforms, and dedicated measures for social media. The Code has a particular focus on the protection of minors.

The “Code of Conduct on Responsible Advertising for Online Gambling” intends to complement and strengthen existing legal and self-regulatory frameworks for online gambling advertising.

The Code includes specific measures on:

  • Content moderation – how gambling advertising should and should not look like.

  • Minor protection – no gambling advertising during broadcasts dedicated to minors; age screening tools on social media to protect minors.

  • First-of-their-kind measures for social media marketing – age-gating on the social media profiles of gambling brands to ensure minors do not have access.

  • Pioneering measures for sponsorship arrangements – no sponsoring of activities which have a predominant appeal to minors.

  • Responsible gambling messaging and campaigns.

The Code applies to EGBA members and is open for signature by online gambling companies licensed in the EU/EEA and UK, as well as other industry bodies.

Upcoming events & webinars

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


Due to current events, most events that were to take place before the summer have been postponed.

However, the following events are still on track to take place later in the year.

  • EASG 2020, the 13th European Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues, will take place in Oslo from 8 – 11 September. This year’s edition will focus on international differences in regulations and operations, as well as different approaches toward prevention, and treatment.

  • Betting on Sports America, the largest dedicated sports betting trade show in the world, returns to Meadowlands, New Jersey from 1 – 3 December.

  • The World Gaming Executive Summit will return to Barcelona from 7 – 9 December. Key themes on the agenda include AI, the future of land-based gaming, CSR, sustainable marketing, regulation updates, fantasy sports, and emerging marketing opportunities.

Webinars & virtual events

  • On 7 May, the EGR Weekly Virtual Series continues with “Cyber Attacks: What’s the impact of Covid-19?”

  • VIXIO GamblingCompliance webinar’s “Untangling Germany's New State Gambling Treaty With DSWV” will address Germany’s newline gambling regulation on Tuesday, 12 May.

  • Do not miss the Gaming in Germany webinar “Responsible advertising in a regulated iGaming market,” on Wednesday, 20 May.

Mikel Arana replaces Juan Espinosa as Director-General of the Spanish regulator DGOJ

To the surprise of Spanish gambling stakeholders, Juan Espinosa has been replaced by Mikel Arana as the Director-General of the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ).

Mikel Arana previously represented the Basque left-wing parties Ezker Batua–Berdeak (United Left-Greens) and Ezker Anitza (Plural Left). Most recently, he served as interim official and auditor of the Economic Control Office of the Basque Government. He holds a law degree from the University of the Basque Country, a master's degree in Human Rights, Democracy and Globalization from the Open University of Catalonia and an MBA from Madrid’s Carlos III University.

According to the statement published on the website of the DGOJ, Arana’s first priority will be the implementation of the recently published Royal Decree on gambling advertising.

Arana’s predecessor, Juan Espinosa, was highly esteemed by other industry stakeholders. It is not unlikely that Mikel Arana will feel inclined to take up a more adversarial position.

In a farewell email, Espinosa wrote that it “has been a challenging yet incredibly rewarding time in my professional life.” Espinosa also expressed the hope that his efforts had contributed to the public interest of strengthening the role of society in regulating the online gambling sector.

Other news

The Spanish government now has the votes to extend the state of alarm for a fourth time, prolonging it to May 23.

The Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) has published its activity report for the year 2019. The report shows, among other things, that online gambling revenues increased 6.95% compared to the previous year.

Spain’s La Liga football clubs are returning to training this week, ahead of the anticipated June resumption of competitive matches.

Private equity groups CVC Capital Partners and Blackstone are in separate talks about investments in Italy’s Serie A football league.

Portugal’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) rose 47.5% year-on-year for Q1 2020 to €68.9m, according to new data released by the country’s regulator SRIJ.

According to the latest estimates, 2020’s global gambling gross win will end up below 2012 levels – undoing, temporarily at least – eight years of continuous growth.


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