Spain Gaming Regulator’s Former Leader to Take Experience to the UK


Posted on: April 5, 2022, 09:04h. 

Last updated on: April 5, 2022, 09:27h.

Juan Espinosa García led Spain’s gaming regulator from 2016 to 2020. He remains close to the industry and will use his expertise to assist gaming industry companies in the UK.

Juan Espinosa García
Juan Espinosa García, the former head of Spain’s gambling regulator. He will now lend his experience and knowledge to gaming-related firms in the UK. (Image: Azar Plus)

From December 2016 to May 2020, Juan Espinosa García oversaw Spain’s gaming regulator, the Directorate-General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ, for its Spanish acronym). During his tenure, he was involved in the development of a number of projects, including the establishment of several policies that are still in place.

Soon, Espinosa will continue his work in the gaming industry, but not in Spain. He already helped the UK’s Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) on a one-off assignment. Espinosa will continue to serve the country’s gaming efforts on other fronts as well.

Former DGOJ Takes Experience International

Before Espinosa could join any independent companies after leaving the DGOJ, he had to have authorization from Spanish authorities. This is to ensure there is no conflict of interest. Spanish media outlet El Boletín reports that Spain’s Treasury and Civil Service department approved the transition.

Espinosa has significant legal and political experience that can be beneficial to the BGC. He studied in the country, receiving two master’s degrees from the University of Edinburgh and King’s College of the University of London. In addition, he has a law degree from Spain’s University of Granada.

His experience in the gaming sector goes beyond the DGOJ, as well. Espinosa became an external adviser to the Spanish Association of Digital Gaming (Jdigital) in November 2020.

It isn’t clear what services Espinosa provided to the BGC, and the organization didn’t elaborate when questioned by Casino.org. However, the former gaming regulator is going to have his hands full, as he is joining a couple of other entities serving the gaming industry.

He will reportedly join Deel, Inc., a firm that helps companies contract workforces on a global scale. It also provides legal guidance in that regard in various countries. Deel reportedly has several gaming-related clients, including Esports Entertainment Group, Hero Gaming, and Zelos Gaming.

El Boletín adds that Espinosa will join a French law firm, Samman Law & Corporate Affairs, which specializes in regulatory and public affairs.

Spain’s Sports Betting Market Slows

With the DGOJ, Espinosa helped develop policies related to communications and advertising for the gaming industry. Not long after his departure, new measures arrived that began to limit where and when operators could advertise.

The new regulation came into force in May of last year. But a moratorium postponed the implementation until August. The only caveat was that the contracts needed to be in place prior to the regulation’s approval, which occurred in 2020.

As a result, since September 1 of last year, online bookmakers can only advertise between 1 AM and 5 AM. In addition, digital advertising is shown only on the portals of the operators. At the same time, on social media, companies can only advertise to their followers.

Since the change, online bookmakers have cut their advertising investment in half. Between September and December of 2020, operators dedicated €90 million (US$98.73 million) to advertising. A year later, the amount fell to €46 million (US$50.46 million), according to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

In addition to advertising, sponsorships are also limited by the new law. Consumer legislation established that teams cannot sign sponsorship contracts with bookmakers that involve carrying gambling advertising on T-shirts and equipment. They also cannot issue betting advertising on sporting events held outside of the early-morning hours.

These restrictions have caused investments in sponsorships to slide. From September to December of last year, the segment received only €1.6 million (US$1.75 million). In the same period of 2020, the budget for sponsorships was €11.6 million (US$12.72 million). As a result, generally speaking, the advertising industry in Spain is dealing with losses of more than €50 million (US$54.85 million) in just four months.



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