The Spanish market has always been known for its passion for sports. In the t world of online gambling, this has meant that online betting operators have enjoyed much success when it comes to growing their communities which in turn meant increased profits.
While the global pandemic took its toll on the Spanish sports betting industry, as it did around the world, by 2021 the market was proving its resilience. The Directorate-General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) reported quarterly increases of around 10% in 2021, which equates to an additional €240 million compared to the same period in 2020.
This remarkable market rebound saw sports betting grow to represent more than 45% of Spain’s entire gambling revenue for the year.
Time To Take Action
With hundreds of millions of Euros on the line there the DGOJ has begun to take action to protect the integrity of its sporting events, ensure the safety of its sportspeople and support the betting community by ensuring fair play.
To this end, the DGOJ and the Higher Sports Council (CSD) have entered into an agreement that will see the CSD and other oversight committees participate in the country’s National Gambling Alert System.
“… it has been considered necessary to establish, at the national level, an Alert System on sports betting in which the DGOJ, the rest of the territorial Public Administrations, the competent bodies of the Ministry of the Interior, together with the Security Forces and Bodies of the State, the Superior Sports Council, as well as the sports federations, professional leagues and gaming operators, all actors with a special interest in eradicating this type of practices, can channel the information at their disposal aimed at achieving this goal.”
The aim of the Alert System is to create a nationwide repository for insights into potentially fraudulent activity and other criminal enterprises in relation to sporting events and betting. By creating a central system that all sports committees (including Spain’s Olympic Committee), law enforcement departments and other participating bodies can post updates on suspicious activities the DGOJ hopes to shut down organised crime groups before they can do harm.
More Restrictions To Come
Spain has already taken what some consider to be severe actions to limit the reach of online sports betting advertising in the country. Taking a harsh stance based on the recent spike in new player accounts they have banned incentives and bonuses for new customers, limited the sports betting advertising to between 1 am and 5 am and put an end to the sponsorship of sports teams and leagues by gambling operators (effective at the end of the 2020/2021 season).
The goal of the DGOJ in this regard was summarised as:
“There will be no advertising in the stadiums, there will be no advertising on the shirts, there will be no celebrities promoting betting houses and games of chance, and there will be no advertisements on the radio, on television or in any type of advertising medium.”
Speaking on the DGOJ's ongoing commitment to addressing gambling in the country the minister for consumer affairs, Alberto Garzón, advised gambling sites to brace themselves for further restrictions and tighter regulation which will at the very least include the introduction of loss limits.