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Spain – Sports betting poised to take off in Galicia

By - 28 April 2017

The boom in sports betting and the solution of legal problems revolving around the collection of taxes has allowed the six sports betting operators in Galicia to raise €7.2m in gaming tax revenue.

According to government figures, sports betting tax revenue collected by the government stood at €1,8m in 2015 for the years 2013 and 2014, while last year revenue collected by the government of Galicia stood at €5.4m, which included payments for 2015 and almost all of 2016.

According to local press it was initially believed that the government would be able to raise around €2.5m in the first year via taxes on sports betting and average €5m a year after that period. As a result the current figure is €10m below expectations despite the increasing popularity of sports betting in the region. However, sports betting revenue is forecast to increase after local leaders decided to expand the maximum number of terminals that can be installed in catering establishments from 2,000 to 3,600.

In addition betting on non sports betting events are also in the pipeline. Tax gaming revenue overall is also on the increase and for the first time since 2010 stood above the €60m mark standing at €62.5m.
Sports betting was first permitted in Galicia in 2013. However it wasn’t until two years later that the government regulated the payment of taxes and other legal details which created a legal vacuum whereby operators did not have to pay tax . Now that the legal problems have been resolved the first balance has now been released by the government. The current figures include the payment of back taxes.
While this is far below initial expectations tax revenue generated by the sports betting industry is expected to increase significantly over the coming years.

In October Codere announced that it had signed an agreement with Comar Group (Grupo Comar), which is the leading operator of private gaming in Galicia. The agreement will allow both companies to operate sports betting jointly.

The agreement means that Codere will strengthen its presence in Galicia, as a result of the “enormous expansion Comar has made in Galicia during its more than three decades of history in the private gaming sector” according to a Codere statement at the time. Earlier this month the company opened a new sports betting shop with Grupo Comar in the municipality of Cambre taking the number of its sports betting shops in the region to almost thirty. In addition, the company plans to quickly expand the number of sports betting terminals throughout the region.

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