Spain set to gamble on betting revolution
9 January 2007
MADRID — Expats will be able to go the bookies as if they were at home after a British bookmaker launched a new venture in Spain.
Ladbrokes is expanding its European operations with a joint venture with the Spanish company Cirsa Slot, the country’s leading slot-machine company.
They will apply for new five-year licences being offered in Madrid after the local government passed a decree opening up its gambling market last month.
Several more of Spain’s 16 regions are expected to follow suit and Ladbrokes said it was working to secure licences in those areas too.
Cirsa Slot accounts for 9 percent of the Spanish slot machine market and operates in 15,000 food outlets and 90 arcades. It also owns casinos and bingo halls.
Pablo Alcala, the director of Cirsa Slot, said the venture would benefit from sports betting becoming an “increasingly mainstream activity in Spain”.
Analysts said Spaniards spent EUR 29 billion on betting in 2006 and the market is expected to expand this year.
Spaniards are big gamblers. In almost every bar in the land someone is feeding money into a slot machine.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news