Spain's Codere Concerned About Online Gambling Competition

Published Saturday, February 11, 2012 -

The online gambling industry in Europe is growing in leaps and bounds although the road to liberalization is far from smooth. Germany has presented problems by trying to maintain their monopoly France has a tax regime that is untenable for most operators and there are legal issues in other parts of the Union.
Spain is becoming a place where the rules are about to change and those companies which operate there now are pulling out of the market in order to qualify for a license to be issued by Spanish authorities.

Microgaming the worlds biggest supplier of software for the online gambling industry has decided to take a break from the Spanish poker jurisdiction. NordicBet  which operates one of Microgaming’s poker rooms has confirmed they will no longer be offering their poker services to residents of Spain. This action is so that Microgaming can comply with the new regulations imposed by the Spanish Authorities. Poker players in Spain that are involved with Microgaming skins are being told their money will be transferred to their principal betting accounts on the sites. 

The action by Microgaming is welcomed by land based Spanish operator Codere which launched legal action against online gambling giant Bwin last year. Codere is of the opinion that any operator that established an online presence pre-regulation will hold an unfair market advantage. The law suit went ahead on the pretext that the Austrian operator’s online presence in the unlicensed market amounted to “unfair competition” for anyone entering the market anew.

Sportingbet and PokerStars, were also the subject of Codere’s allegations and the court was asked to supply injunctions to block the access to Spanish punters via Sportingbet and Pokerstars. Sportingbet’s Spanish-facing site Miapuesta was then blocked by Spanish internet service providers and payment processors after a commercial court in Madrid granted an interim injunction.  Recently a Barcelona mercantile court rejected imposing an injunction against PokerStars, saying they held another E.U. located license and will apply for a Spanish license once they become available.

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