Spain's Casino Industry Is Fiesta Not Siesta
Travelling from country to country as we invariably do, both as people and a provider of gambling opinion and news we get to see many different aspects of the gambling industry inbetween states - especially in Europe.
Europe may well be in Union for the first time in 2000 years however individual states still oversee the majority of their internal laws, much as they do in the United States of America almost 250 years on. Though the borders are coming down on both sides of the Atlantic in respect to online gambling and casino establishments.
It's not always the actual gambling laws that prevent growth in an industry as we have recently found with the cancellation of Eurovegas. An establishment which was set to be built outside Madrid but will no longer go ahead. Maybe in Barcelona but then Catalonia has yet to be reinvented so the Spanish government still holds sway.
Most people know the history of Las Vegas, a place which is a law unto its own but Europe's first behemoth and Eurovegas wasn't to receive similar treatment. While the operators Las Vegas Sands did wish to parley on the Pirate business of taxes and gambling revenue, this wasn't the only stumbling block.
Spain is one of several European countries seeing mass emigration for jobs so the development should have been welcomed were it not for the operator's demands of smoking in house contrary to existing laws EU wide. Ultimately no forthcoming promises on gambling policy changes and security of business and tax avoidance was no doubt the primary cause of concern.
Increased Regulation And Oversight Encourages Spanish Market
That said the Spanish gambling market is not in as much a decline as it is in siesta. An afternoon nap if you will. We briefly mentioned that the 250,000 jobs that Eurovegas would have brought, was to be very welcome, however Spain is fighting on an entirely different front also.
In the last few years there has been a concerted effort to tackle the largess of illegal gambling both online and in illegal establishments. Seeing many operators closed down or made to legitimise their proceedings and offerings.
This in turn, while raising much needed tax revenue, is seeing more external casino operators moving into the Spanish sector. So the news is not entirely grim at all. And where one idea of a Eurovegas can come and go, another may soon replace it with local government keen to capture the imagination of another vendor.
The Spanish General Directorate of Gaming Affairs (Direccion General de Ordenacion del Juego - "DGOJ") is very much on top of the casino game. In its annual reports it notes a decline in gambling revenues across the board with slight increases in the Spanish online casino market for sites such as Bingo rumba, with sports betting also fairing better.
The combination of high unemployment and mass emigration is seemingly having an effect, though tourism keeps most of the high street operators in business. This continuing fortune sees on average 167,000 people employed across the region in the gambling sector and this is set to grow as other operators move in to take advantage of the Eurovegas situation. While the siesta is not quite over, a move towards a fiesta in the Spanish casino market is certainly on the horizon.