Codere banks on ops in Spain as regulatory crackdown there continues


Codere was born in Spain, making its first appearance 40 years ago through “amusement with prizes” slot machines. Since then, it has grown to include casinos, bingo parlors and more, both in its home country and abroad. As it has grown, it hasn’t lost sight of its roots and continues to be a big part of Spain’s gambling landscape. According to the company’s CEO, Vincente di Loreto, that isn’t going to change, either, and, even as Spain is cracking down on the gambling industry, Codere believes Spain will play an even more important role in the company’s success. 

[Image credit: Wikimedia Commons]

Codere just wrapped up a two-day virtual conference in Madrid, Spain, where it discussed what’s going on with the company and where it is headed. The “Apostamos x Ti” (We’re betting on you) conference provided a great deal of inside information about the company’s goals, and di Loreto added, “Spain is a key market in which we have high hopes for growth, for which we must redouble our efforts and investments. Of course, there are difficulties and uncertainties, above all of a regulatory nature, but these are challenges that we will face by leveraging our strategic pillars, convinced of the potential of this market beyond the current situation.”

Part of the “regulatory” issues the executive was hinting about is tied to Spain’s government and gambling regulator coming down hard on all forms of gambling. It is implementing changes to how casinos – land-based and online – can advertise and where, and is also forcing sports organizations to sever their sponsorships with casinos and gaming companies. In addition, betting caps introduced as a result of COVID-19 that were meant to be temporary could be converted into permanent limits.

Going forward, gambling TV and radio spots are only allowed between 1 AM and 5 AM, as if gambling were some type of perverse, pornographic activity. This is expected to have an impact on online gaming operators, but Codere is developing a plan that it expects to be able to overcome the obstacles. It plans on engaging more with clients at its land-based casinos and then converting these into online gamblers to give the company a competitive edge against rivals. 

It’s a strategy that should work, given the fact that Codere is the only casino operator with a retail presence in virtually every corner of Spain. Its turnover has increased 16% over the past five years, and the plan will allow it to see even greater growth in its online channels. Codere Chief Operating Officer Alejandro Rodino is as convinced of the plan’s success as is di Loreto, and said during the company’s conference, “We are continuing work to consolidate our leading position in sports betting in the country. In addition, we are redefining our commercial proposal with an innovative approach that allows us to offer more value to our customers. Our omnichannel strategy generates greater customer loyalty in a market that our board sees as a priority.”