SBC News DGOJ adds SIGMA controls to Spanish betting duties

DGOJ adds SIGMA controls to Spanish betting duties

DGOJ, the Directorate of Gambling of Spain, has adopted all resolutions of the SIGMA programme, Spain’s new ‘centralised directive’ to combat match-fixing and uphold the integrity of sports.

Drafted in 2022, the SIGMA programme was launched in Q1 of this year to establish a ‘cooperative network’ to tackle criminal activity and the exposure of Spanish sports to match-fixing.

The headline directive of SIGMA will launch a whistle-blower portal for the public, athletes, and staff working in Spanish sports and gambling to report incidents of manipulation and fraud to authorities.

Further objectives see the programme launch a collaborative network and database for Spanish authorities to review and record incidents and suspicious activities related to sports manipulations.

As announced by DGOJ Director General, Mikel Arana, on Friday 28 June, DGOJ approved the union of gambling operators holding individual licenses for horse racing or sports betting in any of its modalities to SIGMA, to help form a central research service of betting markets.

The mandate will require all DGOJ-licensed operators to ensure that the SIGMA whistle-blower portal is made available to staff, as a duty of licence.

Arana confirmed that SIGMA duties and procedures would be added to Spanish gambling licences, in which operators “must report irregular or suspicious sports bets immediately” to authorities working on the SIGMA programme.

Centralised requirements have been added to DGOJ licences, as operators must “immediately respond to requests for any information deemed necessary in relation to the alerts entered into the Service”.

The DGOJ becomes a guarantor of the SIGMA programme, alongside Spain’s Higher Sports Council, Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), La Liga, the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET), the Association of Professional Footballers (AFE), the National Police, Civil Guard (federal police), and Ertzaintza (Basque autonomous police).

Arana concluded: “With this resolution, the Directorate General takes a further step in its commitment to the fight against corruption linked to the manipulation of sports competitions and the often-resulting fraud in betting on such events.”

The month of June concluded with the DGOJ hosting the ‘Plenary Session of the Gaming Policy Council’ – a meeting of federal and autonomous stakeholders to discuss Spanish gambling’s regulatory affairs.

The meeting focused on the design and implementation of new centralised controls and systems sought by the approved “Royal Decree on Responsible Gaming Environments”. New controls sought include a centralised player registry, new record-keeping duties for player accounts under 25, and a cross-operator deposit limit to be applied to DGOJ licences.

The meeting introduced Spanish stakeholders to Andrés Urbiola, a ‘dedicated minister’ assigned by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to oversee Spanish gambling federal reforms.

The appointment of a dedicated minister to oversee gambling reforms had been requested by Pablo Bustinduy, Spain’s Minister of Consumer Affairs and Social Rights, in order to move forward with changes.

Bustinduy, who leads the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, underscored the importance of federal gambling reforms which need to be tied in with Spain’s new ‘Action Plan on Combatting Addiction’ that will be launched in 2025.

Check Also

SBC News DGOJ opens dialogue on common data registry for Spanish gambling

DGOJ opens dialogue on common data registry for Spanish gambling

DGOJ, Spain’s General Directorate of Gambling, has started discussions on data administration policies and practices …

SBC News Spain's Gambling Minister warns of tougher advertising restrictions

Spain’s Gambling Minister warns of tougher advertising restrictions

Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs will prioritise restoring gambling advertising restrictions as intended by the …

SBC News DGOJ launches whistle-blower Portal of SIGMA Programme

DGOJ launches whistle-blower Portal of SIGMA Programme

DGOJ, the Gambling Directorate of Spain, continues to strengthen the sports integrity provisions of the …