Spanish Gambling Laws were changed during 2011 to prevent online gamblers using operators who are licensed outside of Spain.
Spanish Gambling Laws
Gambling Laws in Spain changed in 2011 when a new Act was introduced into Law. Prior to that gambling had been legal for more than 30 years but they needed to regulate the market.
Prior to the new legislation, the 17 autonomous communities looked after gambling in their own way so it became pretty fragmented. The new law was really a shake up at national level. The autonomous communities are still responsible for policy and administration of the law. Principally they will now regulate land based casinos and gambling establishments.
The principle objective of the new gambling laws was to regulate national gaming operations over all forms of electronic, interactive and technological media. That included the internet, television, mobile phones, land lines and any other interactive communication.
Apart from regulating gambling, the act also regulates the provision of lotteries. Lotteries are considered to be a form of gambling in Spain.
The new gambling laws prevent advertising, sponsorship or endorsement of gambling activities or the advertising and promotion of gambling operators unless they are licensed in Spain. Furthermore, the new law requires gambling operators to be subject to a new authorisation process.
Gambling laws regulate all kinds of sports betting, pool betting, fixed odds betting, raffles and competitions and any other game where money can be won. Bingo and other live play games are outside of the law because technically, they are not legal.
All online gambling operators must have a “.es” domain name and they must obtain a licence from the the Spanish National Gambling Commission. One surprise for foreign gambling operators was that licenses can evoke the payment of back taxes. Any one visiting a foreign gambling website must be redirected to a “.es” domain. The object of course is to prevent Spanish residents from gambling outside of Spain. The new Spanish gambling laws make that illegal and it increases Spanish gambling revenues.
Many gambling operators outside of Spain simply prevent players from Spain signing up at a online gambling website. Signing up at a licensed Spanish gambling website is legal and many foreign operators set up Spanish websites to comply with Spanish Law.
Gambling operators can expect to pay 25% tax to the Spanish Government on their profits. Spanish Gambling GDP is benefiting well from this.
Regarding tax, Spain is reviewing taxes on internet gambling. They are considering making it possible to deduct losses from wins so that tax is only paid on the overall profit. That is great news for professional gamblers.
Read more about gambling laws in other countries.
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