MPs will decide whether Spain’s gambling regulator should oversee sports betting integrity controls.
Spain.- The Congress of Deputies of Spain has approved a motion for a full vote on proposed changes to gambling legislation that would give the state greater control over monitoring betting fraud and corruption in sports. The changes were to be approved by a health commission but will now get a full vote.
Chief among the proposals are new powers for the Spanish gambling regulator, the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), which would take control of collecting operator data related to sports betting integrity and sports corruption. Operators would need to give the DGOJ data on market movements, suspicious betting patterns and signs of potential fraud.
The DGOJ would create a new cooperation network in partnership the Spanish sports council, Consejo Superior del Deporte (CSD), which represents the interests of professional sports leagues and federations in Spain.
The DGOJ began working with the CSD last year with the aim of creating a new framework for cooperating on sports corruption issues. The idea is that the DGOJ will act as a central hub for the sharing of data to prevent, detect and investigate sports betting fraud. Data will then be shared with police.
Madrid approves decree on betting and gambling premises
Last week, Madrid’s city council approved a community decree that aims to reduce the saturation of gaming venues in the Spanish capital. The decree, which was unanimously approved, overrides current laws to introduce a minimum 300m distance requirement between all gaming and betting premises across the city’s 21 districts.
Gambling premises, which are defined to include betting operators, gaming arcades, casinos and bingo halls, must also be at least 100m away from schools, universities and recreation centres for young people. Meanwhile, the city council will centralise the power to grant licences to gaming venues, taking this away from individual districts.
According to Madrid’s registry of businesses, there are currently 685 gambling premises in the city, comprising some 480 gaming arcades, 160 bookmakers, 33 bingo halls and four casinos.
The DGOJ’s gaming revenue and stakes figures for 2021 showed a decline in online gambling revenue despite a rise in stakes. Online gaming revenue fell 4.2 per cent year-on-year to €815m but stakes were up across all verticals.
There may have been concern that a decline in revenue was related to Spain’s new advertising restrictions, but with stakes up by 25 per cent and deposits up 216 per cent at €2.77bn, it appears to be more a result of trading.