Spanish Online Gambling Market Ready to Roll

Published Saturday, June 02, 2012 -

Among the jurisdictions in the European Union, Spain is expected to be a lucrative one for online gambling operators expanding their offerings. Spain has been slow in getting to the actuality of having regulated online gambling but it looks as if now it is off to a rollicking start. Operators who paid their tax bills and conformed to the requirements as laid out by the Spanish Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego have received licenses to operate in Spain. A slew of regulatory changes have hampered the progress of the liberalization in Spain with last minute changes in the legislation and a “clarification” that was posted to the website of the Spanish gaming regulator prior to the release of the licenses. New rules require operators to delete their player databases and start Spanish operations from a neutral position. Players will have to cash out their existing accounts on operators’ .com sites, and then set up new .es accounts. Poker players will give up any VIP situations and affiliate links will become null and void. The moves will indeed create a level playing field and a clean start for operators in Spain.

Sportingbet, 888 and JAXX SE are amongst the companies to be awarded the permit to play as well as, Spanish firms Codere, Cirsa and Egasa, and U.K. based bet365. As the Euro 2012 football begins so will the betting if the country doesn’t fall into serious financial troubles in the mean time. Sportingbet’s license approval is perhaps the most talked about with a court injunction still in effect after the Commercial Court in Madrid granted Codere an injunction against Sportingbet’s and .es sites that took effect March 27. Despite having agreed to pay the Spanish government €17.2m in back taxes, Sportingbet still has to deal with Codere’s legal move. The sooner the market officially opens in Spain the sooner the firms who have invested heavily in the license to operate will be able to pay down their expenses.

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