Online Gambling Regulation in Spain

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When we think of Spain, we immediately think of beautiful beaches, holidays, tapas and sangria. Spain is a popular destination for tourists around the world and is definitely a land of fun and games. In addition, Spain has a very large number of gamblers and online casino España developed into a major market that some analysts say it might be even bigger than the one in the United Kingdom. The legal background of online gambling in Spain has a very sinuous journey and this article depicts its history up to the present.

Laws and history

Spain’s gambling scene changed drastically after the Spanish Gambling Act in 2011. Gambling has been legal in Spain for more than 30 years, but a lot of casinos especially in the autonomous communities like Andalusia, The Basque Country, Canary Islands, Catalonia etc. were operating without a license and regardless of any regulation. When the Spanish Gambling Act took over, it created the backbone of online casinos.

However, the start was very slow and it took some failed attempts to get to what it is now. In 2006 the government passed the first online gambling laws, which legalized online betting and in physical shops. The first licensed betting outlets were only opened at the beginning of 2008 though, so things were going very smoothly. As mentioned before, casinos in the 17 regional communities were massively overlooked. Smaller regions like Catalonia opened licensed casinos in their districts, but with poker, blackjack and slots still banned. Finally, the Spanish Gambling Act had the main purpose of regulating the country’s online and offline gambling. It may seem simple, but it required national coordination including the distinct regional governments. The Gambling Act has a focus on internet gambling and betting, including mobile phones, television, desktops, landlines, and any technological means. Therefore, the act is very exhaustive and also covers advertising, sponsorships, and promotions. This forbids any kind of advertising or sponsorships related to any operators or casinos that don’t hold a legal license.

Officially regulated

At the moment there’s a 10-year regulation scheme for gambling in the country, with the request that the casino operators hold their servers in Spain.
After its release, every operator must get a license from the National Gambling Commission before providing any services. This also means they pay taxes and of course, licenses are not transferable. The regulation also states that all domains must be under .es, so all businesses should be within the country.

Under .es also means under regulation and safety. To this day the Gambling Act is proving to be very efficient and an example for other countries that try to maintain a gambling landscape that’s both successful and safe. The law is keeping unlicensed and outlaw providers from business and the main interest remain the citizens of Spain. Up to 50 websites closed down voluntarily, yet so many others that refused to do it are being investigated and pressured any kind of activity. This is proof of a sharp and successful system that facilitated the fast development of online gambling in Spain.

Spain – Gambling Summit Capital

Another proof that The Gambling Act was more than effective are the major gambling events held in Spain recently. This steep growth and regulation put Spain on the map as one of the best countries for gambling and certainly adds an extra fun factor for being a classic holiday destination. Safe gambling, good weather on the beach, fun and stable market, these are the elements of a deadly combo. Spain was the home of a few big events in the gambling world, even though its government legalized it only recently. The European Poker Tour, World Gaming Summit, these are just a couple of many events that are now one of the biggest in the world. Delegates, operators, and players everywhere meet in Spain to gamble, have fun and discuss the future of online and offline gaming.

What Holds The Future For Spain?

This small overview of the legislative framework of gambling in Spain made it possible for its recent growth. Once the online gambling was regulated, the international online gambling community cheered. As this was finally acknowledged as a more profitable business, the government proved to trust that online casinos will bring more revenue and are a key element of the future market.

Offline casinos weren’t so happy about the rapid development and have always tried to slow the process down a bit. The regulations of online casinos for Spanish citizens remain tight and restrictive, and this could be seen in a not very large range of casino choices for gamblers. However, a lot of new casinos are welcoming players on their websites. Ultimately, the future looks good for online gambling in Spain and the laws are likely to go easy on them, in order to unlock a larger variety of casinos and games. Spain remains a nation of great gambling culture.

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