The veins of Oscar Garcia-Pelayo blood runs player. His father, Gonzalo, inspired the film The Pelayos , which tells how he managed to unseat casinos around the world with a legal method based on the imperfection of roulette wheels. Now he faces poker … and win. Although less and less. No longer he dedicates eight hours a day to play, train and teach others. He is no longer in charge of family operator who had 2,000 active players per month. No longer plays poker in Spain. And it is that something changed: Entered into force the Gambling Act.
Since the government regularized the game online in 2012, critics and money have not been lacking. The move amount has quadrupled, reaching 8,500 million euros last year (this figure does not include online lottery), according to data from the General Directorate of the Game. And this year promises not to disappoint the 52 operators in the field. The second quarter was an increase of 32% over the same period last year, an amount equivalent to all the money played the year that began with the rules (2,731,000 euros).
There is a catch, as in any game. Before the law, which was created forces foreign companies to be licensed to operate in Spain , the sector moved significantly higher volumes of money, which can not be precise because of the irregularity. Garcia-Pelayo criticism that the legislation “closed market”. By requiring that only can be played between Spanish operators they lost a lot of traffic. “They took players leaving a lot of money and were bad. We told them “cousins”, who used to be in Eastern Europe, Turkey and the US , “he said from Chile.
The objections to the law
Laura Guillot, an expert in the gaming industry, also has no qualms with the result that has thrown the Gambling Act. The heavy taxation and taxes (25%) -from the highest in Europe make “the business is not profitable”. Being able to play online only among Spaniards causes a lack of international liquidity and therefore less attractive activity. Fees are lower for small operators and is “very difficult to compete.” With the law, four multinationals left the Spanish market like other 10 operators. One of them, Garcia-Pelayo, who must pay “a million dollar license 300-odd thousand euros” to continue operating. Sources from the General Directorate Game (DGOJ) state that these consequences are part of a “natural process” to move to a legal environment.
Now the stakes are that steal attention from the 671,900 active players. Half of the money you spend goes for this segment, whether sports or horse riding. Follow casino games (36%) and poker (13.7%). Lights bingo and quizzes are almost melted, receiving less than 1% of the money invested, because profit margins are also very low. Guillot attributed the jump from sports betting that are “easy and emotional” and new players, young, prefer to bet on Barcelona or Madrid, instead of playing bingo. Sacha Michaud, president of JDigital, attributes this to the entry of new operators who had not applied for licenses in addition to the sporting heart of the Spanish.
When the regulation was announced game online , which today represents a quarter of the gambling market, expectations of revenue by the Treasury were high: Between 80 and 120 million euros . According to data from the Tax Agency , the 2012 grossed 101 million and the amount has gradually fallen to 52 million by 2015. “The market size estimates were outrageously high , ” says Michaud. He added that the proceeds from the Treasury not go online with increasing the amount of play money because taxes for Garcia-Pelayo apply to entering the bookmakers (GGR). regulation game online “was a kludge” with the sole purpose of raising money as soon as possible ” to cover or disguise the bad administration of our governments in recent years. “