The R Franco Group is targeting further international expansion throughout 2020 as the firm predicts that its home market of Spain “is definitely one to watch” during the next 12 months.

Lauding an “increasingly secure regulatory environment,” Mario Benito, chief commercial officer of R Franco Digital, has stressed a belief that online gaming has never been more global.

“It’s been an international year for R. Franco – especially when it comes to our digital team,” Benito says. “Established only a few years ago, we’re taking our 50 years of excellence in land-based gaming and using it to bring the best we have to online. With a target of rolling out a new game each month in 2020, we’ll be operating under Maltese, Spanish, Portuguese and Colombian regulatory approval. 

“This of course brings me very nicely onto my personal industry high point; international growth. Regulatory bodies across the world – from the UKGC and MGA in Europe, to the newly regulated markets of LatAm are evolving at a transformational pace. 

“igaming has never been more global, and as a company that operates across LatAm and Europe, I’m delighted to see an increasingly secure regulatory environment boding well for the future for players across the world.”

As a base for operations, Malta has it all”

With a brief insight into 2020 ambitions already revealed, Benito moved on to discuss what more could be in store for casino during the next year: “2019 has been all about expansion into new markets for global operators, and I expect to see more of the same. Conducive to this is sensible legislation which protects consumers while allowing opportunities for growth, and I think Malta (and in particular the MGA) has a key part to play here. 

“If you want to see what’s in store for casino in 2020, watching what Maltese-licensed operators are doing would be a good start. We’ve seen a raft of gaming suppliers set up shop in Malta over the last year to do business with operators (including us!), and there’s good reason to do so. 

“As a base for operations, Malta has it all. Especially when it comes to governance. The Maltese Gaming Act in 2018 replacing the previous patchwork system of regulation and licensing with a single regulatory framework is going to be a godsend for operators looking to cover every touchpoint. 

“This future-proofed thinking will oversee the entire omni-channel spectrum; from land-based to online gaming, ensuring that the island will remain Europe’s gaming HQ – as well as a launchpad for Malta-licensed operators eyeing new European markets.”  

Furthermore, and despite an advertising ban, the firm expects to see significant growth for its home market with the share of online gaming projected to more than double.

The arrival of generation Z is going to make the Spanish market far more dynamic”

With that in mind the firm recently strengthened its Spanish focused online casino and sports betting entity Wanabet after linking-up with Kiron Interactive.

“Our home market of Spain is definitely one to watch, and I predict it’s going to be valuable online real estate in 2020,” Benito concludes. “The market is still in its development and growth phase, and I expect to see the share of online gaming in Spain more than double from seven per cent to 15 per cent. 

“Operators are eyeing up the market with great interest, which says a lot about its potential. There may be plenty of naysayers complaining about the advertising ban, but despite its drawbacks, I see it as evidence that the DGOJ (the Spanish regulator) is taking its responsibilities, such as player protection and underage gambling, very seriously. 

“Of course, like all challenges, plenty of opportunity comes with it. The arrival of generation Z is going to make the Spanish market far more dynamic with their diverse range of preferences, none more so than when it comes to esports. Close to 10 per cent of the country’s population are avid esports fans, and if you want to see a test ground for a betting vertical still in its infancy, then look no further.”