Draft of the Gambling Regulation Act Approved by Spanish Ministers

Posted: February 15, 2011

Updated: October 4, 2017

Spanish Council of Ministers approves a draft of the Gambling Regulation Act, aimed at establishing legal certainty for operators.

The Council of Ministers approved the final draft of the Gambling Regulation Act and submitted it to Spanish Parliament for ratification. The draft will be used to establish the first regulatory framework for all aspects of land-based, online and mobile gambling at the national level. Its aims are to increase protection for customers of the traditional and online gambling industry as well as provide greater security and legal certainty for all casino industry participants.

With this dual aim of providing legitimacy for the operators of gambling establishments and increased protection for its users, The Act will regulate every aspect of the organization, operation and development of gambling throughout Spain. The Spanish government dropped plans to introduce a turnover based tax in this revised draft, due to widespread opposition to this particular change in Spanish gambling laws from industry insiders.

The Act will include language specifically outlining how the tax revenues generated from both land-based and online casinos will be used by the Spanish Government, allocating them to further develop Spain’s Autonomous Communities.

Unfortunately, Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (Spanish State Lottery) gave the casino industry insiders only twelve days to review and comment on the draft prior to submitting it to Parliament. While the Spanish Lottery took many years of arguing behind closed doors about details and intertwining rules to create the framework, the casino owners, operators, analysts and other insiders were given less than two weeks in the middle of the Holiday season. Political pundits view this as a clever move to prevent experts within the casino industry from pointing out possibly embarrassing mistakes or discovering unfavorable language within the Act.

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