The eagerly awaited new version of the Spanish gambling laws still has a few months to go while every wrinkle is ironed out and the new regulatory framework becomes law. The reason for the delay is the 200 proposed amendments to the online gaming registration which include some unpopular proposals from different political parties involved in overseeing the creation of the draft.
The Spanish Association of Online Gamers, AEDAPI, is particularly unhappy with the inclusion of a ‘blackout period’ during which the applicant online casinos must delete all player accounts from their casino databases, stop all advertising, and shutdown completely while waiting until the new licenses are issued. Such a proposal will force gamblers to seek unlicensed Spanish internet casinos in the interim, and defeat the whole reason behind licensing.
AEDAPI President, Mr. Sacha Michaud, explains – “The fact that a large number of amendments have been submitted by the different political groups on the one hand indicates that there is still much work to do but on the other, that we’re going in the right direction to build a positive framework.”
AEDAPI noted the most significant industry-friendly proposed ammendments include:
- A licensing system based on administrative licenses rather than tender procedures
- Reducing the currently proposed tax of 25%, to 15% or 10% which is more competitive with other EU markets
- To ensure equality among all license holder, the state-owned lottery monopoly LAE, must discard some of its special privileges
When the act is adopted into law, it will create a much needed competitive framework for the country’s online gambling industry including internet casinos and online sportsbooks in Spain.
Mr. Juan Carlos Alfonso, Director of Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (LAE), has publicly stated that he is certain that the new law will be approved in June of this year. Mr. Alfonso, who is privileged to inside information, believes that between 30 to 50 online casino licenses with be granted and a new regulatory body to oversee the entire process will be created at the same time.