Sudden Moves in Spanish Internet Gambling Law Reform

Written by Tom B. on 2010-09-20 at 17:58
Internet gambling in Spain - GamingZion
All of a sudden, moves to reform Spanish gambling laws are moving quickly, and today’s monopoly gambling interest Loterias y Apuestas del Estado (LAE) may actually become partially privatized relatively soon. 

On Friday, the council of ministers studied draft law for regulating internet poker, sportsbooks and online casinos in Spain; the proposal predicts €200 million per year could be generated for the Spanish government with proper taxation structure in place. Vice president/minister of economy Elena Salgado announced that the framework for new laws on Internet gambling in Spain was in place to the public and media.

Reaction was swift. Opposition to introducing regulated online gambling and to the possibility of privatizing LAE came from Lottery Association president Manual Izquierdo, among others. Izquierdo publicly questioned in Spanish media “why something that works well is to [end up in] private hands.” Sacha Michaud, president of the Spanish gamblers’ special interest group AEDAPI, found the legislative moves “positive” but warned against high taxation because “consumers ... will play elsewhere, at other websites.”

Though this move is a major step after little to no activity on progressing Spanish gambling laws since provisions were made for liberalization in 2007, Salgado doesn’t believe that things will move too quickly. “This is the beginning of a project that will be followed by a time of discussion [... with] state governments, as well as with associations,” she said in announcing the legislation.

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