On-line gambling launched in Spain

5 June 2012

As of June 5th, it’s game on for the first on-line betting sites with permits in Spain.

It is the culmination of a lengthy gambling liberalization process – there was formerly a state monopoly on the State Lottery and Gambling Agency (Loterías y Apuestas del Estado www.loteriasyapuestas.es) – which involved a major reform effort over a period of several years to achieve legislative and administrative changes. Last week the first 53 operating permits were granted authorizing the operation of on-line betting sites from Spain under the “.es” domain.

The liberalization process was unstoppable given the proliferation and growth of the on-line betting business in the Spanish market by companies located outside Spain’s borders, and the lost opportunity for the Spanish state to collect taxes and safeguard users’ rights.

Hereon after, only companies that have obtained operating permits in Spain with the “.es” domain and that offer gambling to internet users residing in Spain will be operating within the law (2011 Gambling Act). In all other cases, “.com” casinos that have not requested permits, or those that have had their applications denied, will have to block access to users playing from Spain.

It is worth mentioning that this new sector is a new source of income for the Spanish tax authorities as the activity, in addition to the corresponding VAT for services, will have a 25% tax on profits.

For further information, please contact Belén Arribas: barribas@mmmm.es