New Spanish Betting Shop VictoriaPublished July 12, 2008 by OCR Editor
One betting shop is ready, 69 more to go. Spain welcomes William Hill and Codere joint venture.
The joint venture of English bookie William Hill and their Spanish counterparts Codere has opened its first betting shop in Madrid. This joint venture, which was branded "Victoria," has made the first step in a journey which will include the opening of a total of 70 betting shops across the Spanish capital alone.
Up to this point, the Spaniards could only place bets on sporting and social events through the Internet, as betting shops weren't allowed. This is quite strange, as the Spaniards are a gambling frenzy nation, with an average yearly expense of 670 euros per person, while analysts value the betting market in Spain to grow to 39 billion euros in 2010.
Considering the assessment of sport bets hitting the 4.5 billion euros mark at that time, the move of Victoria is well justified, despite some limitations posed on the bettors - the Madrid residents will be able to bet on sport events or TV shows, but bets on either politics or religion issues are banned.
According to Victoria's Operations Manager John Hallahan, the demand for betting services in Spain is huge. This explains why Madrid has granted licenses to a handful of joint ventures, such as Victoria, to operate betting stores in its region. This is only the first steps as foreign bookmakers hope to open thousands of betting shop all across the country.
This hope is backed up by the fact that Spain is new to all this "Betting Shop" idea. The reason it makes a difference is that unlike the traditional English betting market, where betting is conceived as a male-only activity, the Spanish betting market might draw the attention of women as well. That is also why the shops are designed differently than the ones in England, with comfortable sofas, and a lot of chrome and glass - making it a comfortable place to be in.