Spain’s leading gaming trade association the Consejo Empresarial del Juego (CEJUEGO) has been incorporated into the country’s umbrella body for industry groups, the Confederación Española de Organizaciones Empresariales (CEOE).
The incorporation was agreed in March last year, and comes as the industry braces for new operating restrictions in the wake of the Socialist Workers’ Party’s (PSOE) victory in the country’s latest general election.
CEJUEGO said that as a member of the broader trade association, it would be able to draw on CEOE’s influence and experience as it looks to defend the role of the gaming sector in the Spanish market.
It will look to better highlight its contribution to society and its status as an employer and wealth creator in the country, with the industry accounting 2.3% of the country’s gross domestic product according to CEJUEGO.
“This incorporation is very good for us because of the possibilities it offers us to give more visibility to our sector to the government, the media and society in general,” CEJUEGO chief executive Alejandro Landaluce said.
The need for the industry’s positive impact to be highlighted has become more pressing after the PSOE won the most seats in the Spanish general election yesterday (April 28). Despite falling short of the 176 seats required for an outright majority, the PSOE is now likely to renew efforts to introduce stricter controls on the country’s gambling sector.
Measures set out in the PSOE’s budget for 2019 included plans to place controls on gambling advertising similar to those already in force for tobacco and alcohol, which were described at the time as “unjustified” by CEJUEGO. This budget was rejected by the Spanish parliament in February this year, prompting PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez to call the snap general election.
In the PSOE’s manifesto for the election, it pledged to also introduce restrictions on inducements to gamble such as welcome bonuses for igaming, and increase taxes to fund the prevention and treatment of social issues arising from gambling. It will also look to close betting shops, and replace them with new social centres for young people across the country.