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Spanish gambling reform will enable future diversification

The Spanish lottery giant Sociedad Estatal de Loterias y Apuestas del Estado SA is eyeing the online market following new Spanish laws on gambling, and wants to play a role in the international consolidation of the gaming industry in the coming years, its chairman said Wednesday.

"It's clear that size is important in gaming," Aurelio Martinez told a conference in Madrid, covered by the Dow Jones news agency.

Martinez revealed that Loterias' international expansion won't necessarily come through acquisitions - though he didn't rule out deal making - but said that it could come from the globalisation of gaming and gaming technology.

Martinez was appointed to head Loterias earlier this year ahead of the planned privatisation of the company via an initial public offering.

He told his audience that the lottery giant also has plans to move into the online gambling sector, noting that internet gambling, with revenues in Spain of about €600 million last year, is currently only a small part of Spain's overall €30 billion gaming market, but has considerable potential for growth.

Loterias plans to list on Spain's stock exchange this autumn, in an IPO that is set to become the biggest on record in Spain, with a market value of between €23 billion and €25 billion. Martinez revealed that the company could pay out between 80% and 85% of profits as dividends, depending on what the majority owners want. The privatisation will see 30% of Loterias put up with a target of €7.5 billion to be raised.

Dow Jones reports that the deal is a key component of Spain's plan to cut its national budget deficit to 6% of gross domestic product this year and to 4.4% in 2012. It was 9.2% in 2010.

Source: InfoPowa News

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