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EUROPEAN NEWS - SPAIN www.euroslot-online.com
Cardona resigns from CEJ The internet is
J
uan Ceva, Honorary President of the FEMARA Association
winning the game in
(Spanish Federation of Amusement Machines) and Javier Franch
President of CEJ (Spanish Confederation of Organizations of Gaming
the basque country
Industries) have been protagonists for different reasons. On 10th
December FEMARA paid a warm tribute to its founder and President
for more than 25 years, Juan Ceva Alonso. Present for the occasion
were representatives of all the business organizations that comprise
the Federation; thanking them for their attendance was the Technical F
or several years, casinos, bingo halls and amusement arcades have
been competing with great difficulty against the online betting
Secretary General of FEMARA, Miguel García Campos. companies that are proliferating due to the lack of control in most
Next, the current President of FEMARA, José Ramón Saínz San countries and independent communities. In the Basque Country they are
Emeterio thanked Juan Ceva for the “efforts he has made to defend not regulated, resulting in a legal vacuum that the Basque Government
the interests of the operating companies, uniting them over all these wants to fill, and it has decreed that it will intervene in the matter “with
years with the resultant independence that the Association has immediate effect”. It has given its assurance to the Director of Gaming
obtained not forgetting the considerable influence that it holds and Entertainment, Sonia Fernández, who stated that the supply of
within the sector”. After the presentation of a commemorative games via the Internet “is beginning to rob the traditional operators of
plaque and corresponding praise, Ceva, noticeably moved, spoke to their share of the market”. Proof of this is the 60,000 Basques who say
those present expressing his gratitude to those who had attended they have placed a bet in the last month, according to a survey contained
and encouraging everyone to preserve “the stability that they have in the Libro Blanco del Juego (the White Book on Gaming), published by
achieved together for the sector over all these years”. the Basque Government.
For his part, Javier Franch Cardona is resigning from the It is calculated that takings from online gaming in the Basque Country
Presidency of the CEJ even though he still has a mandate of nearly in 2006, the latest figures available, amounted to ¤20 million. The
two years. The reasons for the resignation from his position, growth forecast for 2008 was in excess of 50%.   But the financial
according to his statement, are for personal reasons and a certain damage is not the worse consequence of the growth in digital betting.
tiredness. However, he will continue to be the President of AEJEA The Internet, where the limits are invisible, has opened the door to
(Catalonian Association of Bingo Businesses). The resignation of games of chance to minors, something totally prohibited, and has ended
Javier Franch will bring with it the call for an election that will take up hooking thousands of players, caught by what is on offer 24 hours a
place at a meeting that will probably be arranged for the end of day with only the click of the mouse. Regulating ‘on-line’ betting,
January 2010. As for the EUBINGO presidency, which Spain holds indicates the Basque Government “is the only way to ensure that
until May 2010, someone else will have to be substituted for Franch consumers can enjoy all the expected guarantees”. It is astonishing that,
until the conclusion of the perceived term of office. despite all the threats, the sector is continuing to withstand the advance,
in view of the data that has been made public.
Profits in spite of crisis
T
wo of the most important companies in the Spanish gaming sector, CIRSA
and CODERE hope to finish the 2009 financial year with positive results. As
at 30th September Cirsa had achieved an income of ¤1,220 million, with an
operating profit (EBITDA) of ¤157 million, a 5% increase on the same period of
2008, which means that in the third quarter it invoiced 405 million euros, with
an operating profit of 55 million, a 3% increase in comparison with the same
quarter of the previous year.
The most outstanding aspects that have allowed it to achieve this result are
the introduction by the B2B Division of more than 5,000 new machines in the
Autonomous Madrid Region, in direct consequence of the new regulations, that
also incorporate video games in the amusement machines in hotels and bars.
The optimisation of the machines in Italy which number more than 7,400 units,
has provided an increase of 24% in the amount invoiced for the quarter and the
positive evolution of the Group’s Latin American markets, resulting mainly, from
extensions, structural improvements  and a greater gaming offer.
For its part the Spanish gaming group Codere will close 2009 with a positive
net profit, according to David Elizaga, financial Director of the Codere Group,
which up to September had realised a net profit of 3.1 million euros. “I can
advance that 2010 is going to be a year of growth”, he said, without specifying
the magnitudes of the results. “We have satisfied or surpassed our expectations
in each quarter, and the fourth quarter is going to be no exception”. Codere, which
up to 30th September had a net financial debt of 669.1 million and a level of debt
3.1 times its EBITDA, hopes to close 2009 at a similar level. “This is a level of
debt with which we are very comfortable”, said Elízaga. “To take the leverage level
above 3 times the financial debt/EBITDA is not our objective”.
18
JANUARY 2010
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