With Spain’s Senate having passed further restrictive measures, what is the future for online gambling in the country? We ask R Franco Digital’s Chief Commercial Officer Mario Benito for his views.
How will the new advertising regulations in Spain impact on the growth of the online gambling market in the country?
Online gambling is a multi-billion dollar industry that has been growing rapidly in recent years. As the number of people gambling online increases, more and more governments are regulating the industry. The regulation of online gambling is an important issue for the economy, because it can have a profound effect on how many people gamble online – as well as where they gamble online – and can cause the market to slow down quite abruptly.
How do you view the new restrictions on slots – requiring customers to set session times and spend amounts?
This will most certainly negatively affect the amount wagered by each user and the limitations will cause most players to reduce their hours of use. However, it will also create players who are more aware of what they can afford to spend and therefore help to regulate the problem of uncontrolled gambling.
Is there a danger that the new restrictions will see players turning more to unlicensed operators?
Consumers using unlicensed operators are unsuspecting or casual gamblers. We have seen that gamblers may specifically search for unlicensed operators, or use VPNs, international contact details or alternative payment methods (cryptocurrencies for example) and are therefore able to access more sites than those that are regulated.
Consumers are exposed to unlicensed operators via other marketing channels, including major affiliate sites, major sports team and venue sponsors and mobile app stores. However, we believe that regular players will continue to gamble and play at casinos they trust, despite the increased regulations.
Finally, is Spain still an attractive market for operators and suppliers?
Definitely. Despite the new restrictions, we are convinced that the Spanish market will continue to grow slowly but steadily. This will allow R Franco Digital to have a good base of casinos with loyal customers who will help the industry to grow and continue to improve over the coming years.