International edition
June 16, 2021

Operators critizise the new gaming bill

Spain: Online gaming will reduce its advertising in up to 100 million euros

(Spain).- Online gaming operators critizised again the new gaming bill that the government wants to approve on the first months of 2011. They believe it may be one of the worst in Europe and plan to reduce its advertising investments, as well as the sponsorship in sports, in up to 100 million euros.

T

he online gaming regulation does not satisfy all the operators. The government aims to approve, within the first quarter of the year, the new gambling law, which will legalize online betting operators. And, if the norm is presented as planned, big operators intend not to arrive in Spain, with a further damage to the public economy.

It will also generate a strong impact in the advertising market. According to the Spanish Internet Betting Association (Aedapi), "more than 100 million euros a year in advertising and sponsorship would be put to risk; Aedapi estimates that the main European online gaming operators invest in Spain” assured a press release.

One of the contracts that could be at risk is the one of Real Madrid with Austrian betting firm Bwin. It had stated that it would not create a specific business for Spain if it continues having the bill and bases in the EU law to keep on operating as now. But, if it does not have a legal representative in Spain, future National Gaming Commission could prevent it from advertising. And, in this case, they would have to say good-bye to the 25 million that the club receives each year due to the sponsorship of its shirts. And, as such, many other operators could follow the same way.

The main critic from the betting firms is based in the type of tax they will have to pay. "Under the tax per business volume, the gaming modalities that face a player against other could not exist”, assured the association, that cites the example of online poker. “

"Spain could count with one of the worst gaming regulations in Europe, because it would be very harmful both for companies and users” assures in a press release. "The state has ignored the recommendations of online gaming operators, the traditional industry, users and Internet experts”, proposing the tax on business volume and not on gross winnings, it means, on the amount that each player spends, which, according to Aedapi, will have a direct impact on users.

The new gaming law will be released at the same time as the future privatization of the 30% of the State Lottery and Gaming (LAE). A change that will accelerate the sector, and will surely generate more competence, because the lottery, operated by the state, will have to gain more weigh in the online business. But, while LAE cannot become in one of the big names in Internet gaming, the non-regulated business may follow a very similar path.

According to Aedapi, if users do not find in Spain a betting offer according to their own interests, they will go to the black market, due to the lack of frontiers in the Web. However, LAE General Director, Gonzalo Fernández, assured that the future gaming law will count with the necessary "instruments for financial, communication and advertising middlemen” to "end up with any trial from operators to keep on operating illegally", he assured.

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