International edition
September 18, 2020

Spain

COFAR Congress demanded online gaming to be regulated

(Spain).- During the XIV COFAR Congress (Confederation of Spanish Gaming Businessmen), important speakers talked at different round tables, in which the subjects treated had to do with a demand of a tax cut, as well as the support of the administration, the modernization of the product and a restriction to the threaten of illegal gaming, as the main issues to get out of the crisis.

I

n the round table “Present and future of recreational gaming in Spain”, it showed the
decrease of incomes in hostelling and gambling venues, with year-on-year variations between a -8% and 22% and -30% and 40% respectively.

Measures were proposed, such as temporary cuts to cost zero, planification of the business park, a unique operador in the venue, quarter interest payable and an expansion of the venues in order to add more modern machines.

Leopoldo Abadía, author of the best-seller: “La crisis ninja y otros misterios de la economía actual” (The Ninja crisis and other mysteries of the current economy”,) showed his sense of humor, recommending optimism, prudence, moderate expenses and attention in order to get out of the financial crisis.

In the round table “Short-term challenges of the sector”, they talked about Internet gaming. There were many opponents to LAE (Lotteries and Bets of the State) write a norm for online gaming. For this kind of gaming, it was suggested a tax regime in accordance to other countries, trying that its incomes offset the tax applied to traditional gaming. It means, to regulate and establish a fiscal balance between the two sectors.

Fernando Prats, General Director of Planning and Gaming Management of Madrid Council, analyzed the data reflected by the different sub-sectors during 2008. He affirmed: “Bingo has to be paid a special attention. It is the sector that brings more taxes because its evolution has been the most negative. It is the sector that suffers the crisis the most”.

Finally, there was a round table with representatives of different autonomous administrations. Enrique Cortés, General Assistant Director of Studies and Institutional Relations of the Ministry of the Interior,  assumed the “stagnation of online regulation as an absolute mistake. A communication problem has occured. The Commission of the Sector has been an organ with frequent ups and downs and the Ministry has not been capable to understand the petitions of the companies.”

Manuel Lao, president of COFAR, encouraged the collaboration of everyone to face the crisis, even if expenses had to be reduced. “To charge more does not mean to collect more,” he said. He also anticipated that the XV Congress will be held in the Basque Country.

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