We have already reported about renowned operator of online casinos in Spain Codere’s tactics against foreign gambling operators. Read more in our Spanish Gambling Group Codere Fights Against Foreign Competition article.
Codere’s strategy has paid off in the case against Sportingbet, who’s appeal to the Mercantile Court of Madrid has been thrown out when the judge deemed Sportingbet activities in the country to be contradictory to the Spanish gambling laws.
The court’s ruling becomes the latest blow to Sportingbet’s legal battle against the Spanish gambling giant. Both Spanish online gambling properties of Sportingbet have been shut down. The attempt to appeal a previous decision has cost Sportingbet a whopping EUR 2 million according to Spain gambling news.
The ruling of the Madrid court sets a dangerous precedent within the Spanish gambling market as the judge stated that “any offering of gaming or betting activity that has not been granted a prior administrative authorization is, indisputably, illegal and prohibited.”
The ruling includes all and any offering as well as marketing of games of chance and sports betting operated remotely prior to May 29, 2011, when the latest Spanish gambling laws came into effect. The new regulation turned the General Directorate of Gaming Supervision into the sole licensing and regulatory body for all online gambling activities in Spain.
The Spanish gambling giant Codere claimed that all foreign gambling operators unlicensed in Spain work in inequitable competitive conditions, because they operate from tax havens and don’t pay the Spanish gambling taxes.
The company also stated that the offshore gambling sites don’t generate employment on Spanish soil, and in many cases don’t offer the necessary levels of player protection.
The companies under Codere’s attack utilize the defense that delays in accepting applications and issuing gambling licenses in Spain create a legal vacuum. This argument was already successfully applied by Poker Stars a Barcelona court.