“Spain is a huge market place with large projected growth. It has great potential”
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Shona ODonnell, Head of Operations, iGaming Business & SportBusiness, granted an interview to Yogonet.com.
What is the main objective of iGB Spain in its 2012 edition?
Our main objective is to bring together everyone in the industry to share ideas and create news business. We provide comprehensive information on the hispanic markets, whether on a regulated Spain or the burgeoning Latin American industry, allowing anyone interested to take advantage of these exciting and growing sectors.
To ensure delegates get the most out of our events, this year iGB Espana will be incorporated into the Barcelona Affiliate Conference, so will offer an international audience alongside local delegates. This will offer even greater ROI to those attending, as they get two events in one.
What do you think about the Spanish online market that was regulated this year? In your opinion, does the legislation have weaknesses and areas that need any improvement?
The process of regulation was a long and difficult one, but the good news is that we have made it to the end of the road, for now. The regulations are comprehensive and while tax rates are high there is belief that these could be reviewed, although this would seem unlikely in the near future given Spain’s economic climate. I think that the definition of those that can be punished under the new law if they do not have a license is very broad and includes anyone indirectly involved, this could cover marketing companies, printers, and small media owners who may not fully understand the implications. However I think that while the SGR will come down heavily on operators in the space without a license it remains to be see how they will deal with those indirectly involved if found to be in breach of the law. As with any new regulation, it’s a case of ‘only time will tell’. Many would argue that taxing the player is unfair as this considers only wining and not loses and that this accounts for the lower than expected growth since regulation.
However with 277 licenses granted amongst 53 companies and the prospect of more to come (any operator with a general license is able to apply for singular licenses at any future point), it’s a really exciting time and I look forward to seeing how the market grows and if the regulations will change and adapt over time, with some estimates showing the market could be worth as much as 1bn € by 2015.
What is the potential for this market? How will Spain evolve?
Spain has great potential; it is a huge market place with large projected growth. I think initially the market place will be very crowded, with all of the big player having been granted a license, but over time those operators that best understand and develop specifically for Spain will lead the way. I think how the market evolves will depend largely on the economic climate and on any future changes to taxation of player and operators.
What will be the main topics covered in the conferences?
Obviously we’ll be covering Spain since regulation and what the consequences are for those in the market. On Saturday we will have a number of sessions looking at Latin America and these will include payments and how this market compares to Spain, we will also have sessions on social media and mobile gambling, our ever popular SEO sessions. We’ll have expert speakers who are able to share their experience and expertise to help delegate really gain from the event and have solid ideas they can implement in their business.
On a personal note, I’m excited to see Daniel Padilla, the industry renown affiliate who equally runs his own binary options Operator site too and affiliate network. He is coming all the way from Uruguay to speak on the opportunities that binary trading can open for the savvy online marketer, with binary trading having fewer worldwide restrictions than gambling, but still catering for a similar audience.
What can you tell us about the expo?
With iGB Espana being held during the Barcelona Affiliate conference, our delegates will get a Hispanic-specific exhibition and conference, but will also is able to visit the BAC exhibition so in total they will be able to meet with over 50 different companies working in the space. More importantly however, the expo offers a fantastic opportunity for delegates to network with some of the biggest affiliate programs and operators in the business. This focus in networking is made all the more apparent when you realise that from 3pm we have an open bar for all, allowing for some more informal networking and encouraging delegates to meet new connections, peers and business partners.
This means that they’ll be able to leave with not just lots of information and business cards but also lots of giveaways from the exhibitors, such as t-shirts, usb sticks, hoodies, ipads, kindles and sweets and drinks to keep energy levels high.
Who are iGB Spain's audience?
Our audience is anyone who is working or interested in the Hispanic gambling markets, from affiliates to operators, regulators to suppliers. With a conference track and exhibition zone dedicated to this market we are confident that the event will provide something for everyone.
What are your expectations for this year?
I hope that this year will see the biggest event yet as we combine BAC and iGB Espana. I think for those working in the Spanish market it offers a great opportunity to combine both a local and international event and get a real flavour for our bigger events that they may not have attended in the past. We have some really amazing venues booked for the networking parties including Astoria and Elephant, where our delegates can enjoy some more relaxed networking and chance to soak up the Catalonian capitals hospitality. Ultimately I hope that everyone comes, shares ideas, takes away some new valuable ideas, creates business and has a great time. I can’t wait to see everyone in Barcelona in October.