Spain's Draft Bill for Internet Gambling Closer to Resolution

Published Monday, May 02, 2011 -

Spain has been aggressively trying to liberalize its gambling industry for a long time, without coming to a real solution. Now the Loterías y Apuestas del Estado is giving interested parties less than two weeks to comment on the latest draft that was proposed in the new legislation in Spain regarding online gambling. There have been approximately 269 amendments made to various drafts during the many stages of the legislative process to change to laws. There have been also many detracting opinions that will keep the debate lively when the full Spanish Senate meets.

Many companies in Spain which offer online gambling also are sponsors of the major football league. In Spain, Real Madrid's famous white jersey carries the corporate logo of Bwin, the club's major sponsor following a deal worth roughly Euro 23 million.
There is a transitional period, according to the draft bill, enabling all businesses time to regulate their status, sponsorship and advertising activities. The entire process is under the control of the National Gambling Commission, with content supplied by the Gaming Policy Board of Spain.

Gambling firms will be required to use the internet domain identification tag “.es” in order to make the process of control and regulation a simpler task for Spanish authorities.  The trade association AEDAPI has reported that the Spanish Senate Finance Committee has approved, without any important changes the new draft bill on gambling including provisions for internet gambling. This approval was a quickly made decision because the Congress of Deputies, had already confirmed the changes to the bill. 
There is optimism among stakeholders in the online gambling industry that legislation will be passed sometime in mid 2011, but it has been suggested that it will take a while longer to fine tune the legislation before Spain finds modifications that all parties feel are equitable. The new regulatory framework will not affect the State Lotteries and as an aside confusingly Internet Bingo was not mentioned in the draft bill.






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