|UK based gambling operator Ladbrokes PLC, announced today that it has entered into a joint venture with Spanish company Cirsa Slot Corp, to develop a sports betting business for the Spanish market.|
The venture will apply for the new betting licenses being offered in Madrid, where a decree was passed in December to regulate dedicated betting shops, betting kiosks — bars, arcades and bingo halls — and remote betting (telephone and Internet) for the first time.
Ladbrokes, which has recently applied for similar licences in Italy, confirmed that applications for the licenses, which initially last five years but are renewable, will be submitted to the Madrid regional government when requested, most likely by mid-January.
Christopher Bell, Chief Executive of Ladbrokes plc commented, 'This represents another major step forward in our international aspirations. In December we opened our first shops in Italy and successfully tendered for new licences. Now we have formed a JV with a market leader in Spain that gives us access to a network of thousands of potential site operators.”
The joint venture will also seek to acquire betting licenses in other areas of Spain also considering regulation. The Spanish gambling market was worth around €29 billion ($37.7 billion) last year, Ladbrokes said.
Cirsa Slot accounts for 9 percent of the Spanish slot machine market, servicing over 15,000 food and beverage outlets with gaming areas and 90 arcades. The company is a division of Cirsa Corp.