Spain's gambling regulator has published the official list of its 53 online gambling licensees and will make a decision today on how to deal with companies that have flouted its early rules on player funds.
After a long legislative and administrative process, the nation-wide online gambling regulatory framework in Spain was completed last week after the publication of a raft of implementing regulations. Now the first online licensing process has begun and a short window until December 14, 2011 is open for operators and services providers among others to apply for legal standing to participate in the market.
Spanish gaming firm Codere is contesting Spain’s entire online gambling licensing system in court, complaining that many licences were unduly granted and offshore operators have still not paid enough retrospective tax.
Bwin.Party’s "decidedly uncomfortable" agreement to pay Spanish tax authorities €33m (£26.7m) to settle back-tax claims raises the cost of doing business in Spain, already projected to be a highly competitive market, analysts and attorneys say.
Pledging to be a "modest" regulator, the new director general of Spain’s gambling watchdog yesterday promised a core code of conduct for advertising by the end of May, and said he believed online licences could still be issued by mid-June.
Spain’s government has released draft regulations which are set to squeeze out high rollers in online poker and betting and have already provoked furious lobbying from operators in a swift seven-day consultation ending this week.
Operators will be able to apply for a Spanish online gambling licence in November, one of Spain's top gambling regulators announced yesterday as he also revealed the types of games that would be allowed in the Spanish market.
Spain added to Betfair's Greek woes yesterday when a senior government official announced it also plans to disallow betting exchanges from obtaining online gambling authorisations in an initial licensing phase this year.
With the final approval of the online gaming bill in early May 2011, there is still a long process ahead before the regulation takes full effect. An extension of the standstill period in the European Commission of the text has also delayed the entry into force of the approved law.
A new report into the grey online market in Spain issued by GamblingData ahead of the possible regulation of the market late in 2011 or early 2012 suggests the market is currently worth between €210m and €250m.
Spanish gaming firm Codere yesterday kicked off a legal battle with online betting giant Bwin and Real Madrid football club, as it looks to establish a level playing field before Spain’s online gambling market opens up.
Online operators yesterday cheered the removal of their last and biggest hurdle in Spain, as a controversial turnover tax on internet gambling was replaced by a gross profit-based charge in the draft law.
Spain’s national government took a decisive step towards regulating online gambling last Friday as cabinet ministers also confirmed plans to partially-privatise state-owned lottery giant, Loterias y Apuestas del Estado (LAE).
Enrique Alejo, the director general of Spanish gambling regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego, explains how he plans to open up Spain's online gambling market this summer. Alejo spoke to GamblingCompliance after he gave one of his first public appearances in English at a joint workshop held by Ecija law firm and GamblingCompliance.
Barcelona lawyer Xavier Muñoz and GamblingData managing editor Scott Longley lifted the lid on the soon-to-regulate €250m Spanish online gambling market at an exclusive London workshop held by GamblingCompliance.