Spanish Opposition Wants to Dismantal Online Poker

Published Tuesday, January 28, 2014 -
Spanish Opposition Wants to Dismantal Online Poker

Spain is one country in the European Union that hasn’t been doing that well economically. The internet gambling rules were changed recently with the issuing of the first online gambling licences on June 1st 2012. Since then however there has been a decline in the revenues generated by the industry an enormous 20% from Q1 to Q3 2013.

While the marked decline is one that serves as worry for those in need of the funds garnered from gambling in Spain a new threat to the system has emerged. The Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) has announced plans that if it had power would put an end to online poker in Spain.

The party wants to amend the “Responsible Gaming Strategy” adopted in 2013 by eliminating poker’s appeal to Spanish players. Last November the opposition party proposed that online poker players should have to pay a tax on all winning hands they play without any tax deduction considerations for the losing hands. It has been suggested that the PSOE’s approach to online poker comes from the idea that poker fosters “an addictive behavior with undesirable social effects.” If the Socialists gain control over the government in the next election in 2015 they would by any means remove online poker from the Spanish jurisdiction.

Other destructive changes are also planned by the Spanish Socialist Workers Party including the elimination of online poker bonuses and other incentives that encourage poker players to stay online and play more poker. Also measures to limit the amount of time players can actually spend online would be introduced, as well as pre-set spending limits, and strict identification requirements would be introduced.

Firms which thought the punitive taxes that the Spanish government required before they applied for licenses to operate in Spain were excessive but were willing to pay are having second thoughts after seeing the falling revenues and now the opposition party views. Some saw the writing on the wall last year and pulled out of the market there, cutting their losses early.




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