Towards the end of the year 2006 a great shopping-mall and entertainment centre will be opened in the city of Cartagena, in the Autonomous Community of Murcia; it will be called „Parque Mediterráneo“. Surface of the new FEC rises to 250,000 sq.m. and forecasts estimate an average of 8,000 visitors a day. This involves a wide offer: more than 100 shops, 6,000 parking lots, restaurants, cafeterias, cinemas, bowling… and a small casino, that will operate under the current license of the Costa Cálida Casino (Hyatt), located in La Manga del Mar Menor.
In the opinion of several experts and generally speaking, Spain is going through a period of optimism regarding the gaming market. Apparently, reasons for this could be due to the following circumstances: the new regional gaming regulations in force, which already include many of the sector’s aspirations and the important investments made by entrepreneurs in new technology and its applications; an example of which are the new machine models, the creation of machines specifically for arcades, the authorization of specific machines for bingo halls, the new management and interlinking systems, the extension in regional games catalogues, the increase in the number of new casinos, an increase of the types of bingo games and finally, the reduction in the gaming tax on bingo in some Autonomous Communities. Proof of all of which are both the foreign investments in Spanish business opportunities and the investment of Spanish companies abroad. In summary, current trend is on the high and sheds new light on the previously stagnant and uncertain situation.
The analysis effected by EUROPER-Catalonian Operators‘ Association for the year 2004 reflects that all gaming companies in Spain have invested more than 67.5 million €uros in advertising; this study includes private and public corporations. The biggest increase was registered in the sport bets segment, which ran massive campaigns in that period. In absolute terms, however, the ONCE coupon has the highest investment in advertising: 40,2 mill. EUR, which represents a 5.9 yearly drop; it is followed by the National Lottery of the LAE, the State body, with an investment of 23,5 mill. EUR in advertising, which represents 4.8% less than the previous year. Total advertising investment of on-line sport bet sites rose to 766.5 mill. EUR; the study was done including bet operators of the following Internet sites: Miapuesta.com, Betandwin, Ladbrokes, Interapuestas.com, Quinielista.com, and Lamegapeda 1×2.
The next conference of COFAR-Spanish Federations of Gaming Machines’Associations will be held in on the coming July 15 and 16; this is the eleventh edition and it is likely to be attended by most representative entrepreneurs and operators.
Finally, the Austrian betting operator Betandwin will not be the sponsor of the Barcelona football team shirts. After negotiating for almost a year and a half, both parties have not reached an agreement, which would have been the first advertising logo on the team’s football shirts.