Yesterday, the Spanish Ministry of Consumer Affairs made an announcement regarding the signing of a collaborative agreement with the General Directorate of Police (DGP). As per the agreement, the DGP will be responsible for conducting criminal investigations into potential cases of sports competition manipulation and betting fraud. These cases will be identified by the network of entities involved in the Global Gambling Market Research Service (SIGMA).
As a result of the agreement reached between the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior, the National Police will now have access to the SIGMA database. This access will enable them to analyze and investigate alerts related to sports events and betting.
SIGMA serves as a technical tool and an interactive cooperation network managed by the General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ). It is accessible to entities that have joined the service through electronic means. Currently, the network includes the Higher Sports Council, sports federations, professional leagues, and licensed gaming operators.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, led by Alberto Garzón, stated that the National Police’s participation strengthens the efforts to combat fraud within the sports events and sports betting market.
The agreement focuses on combating practices that disrupt the normal progress of gaming-related activities, as they pose a significant threat to the values of sports and create distance between the sport and its devoted fans.
To effectively monitor the implementation of the agreement and take necessary actions in potential criminal investigations, the General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOP) and the General Directorate of Police (DGP) will establish a Monitoring Commission within one month.
The Monitoring Commission will convene at least once a year as a regular meeting, but it can also be convened on an extraordinary basis upon the request of either party.
Confidentiality of the shared data between the two organizations is also outlined in the agreement, which remains valid for a period of four years.
Betting sites face strict sanctions
In the previous month, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs in Spain took stringent action against 20 operators within the online betting and gambling industry. These actions were in response to serious or very serious infractions that occurred during the second half of 2022.
Among the 20 resolutions issued by the General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ), seven were for very serious offenses, resulting in a two-year disqualification period for the operators involved. These infractions were penalized with fines of €5 million each, totaling €35 million in this category, in accordance with the sanctions stipulated in the Gambling Regulation Law (LRJ).
Furthermore, the DGOJ identified additional serious violations committed by 13 operators within the online betting and gambling sector during the latter half of 2022. The cumulative fines imposed in these cases amounted to €560,000.