We have already reported on how meticulous the Spanish gambling regulator is when it comes to online casinos in Spain, ensuring that every t is crossed and every i is dotted before the coveted online gambling licensees are approved (read more in Spanish Online Gambling Licenses Certification Inspectors Named article).
This week, the Spanish Cabinet gave its stamp of approval to all online gambling licenses and approved the Spanish regulator’s technical requirements.
The Spanish regulators are technically just advisors, and the next step according to the Spanish gambling laws will be to officially transform the advisors into regulators who will oversee all operations of online gambling in the country starting from January 1, 2012.
This move is an extremely important administrative hurdle, which is finally out of the way and opens the door for foreign and local operators to apply for gambling licenses in Spain.
The Spanish Trade Association (AEDAPI) has welcomed the Cabinet’s approval with enormous satisfaction.
ADAPI statement was quoted by Spain gambling news: “We are pleased with the approval of the decrees because for the first time in Spain, the operator may apply for a license to develop their online gambling business.”
The Association spokesperson went on to say: “However, the law that we have will be very competitive and companies are going to find it difficult to be profitable in this country. In this sense, we believe there is still much work to be done and many ways to improve gambling laws for the Spanish market.”
AEDAPI noted that the attractiveness of the online casinos in Spain is limited by the “uncompetitive law” approach, referring to the draconian twenty five percent tax rate on operator’s net income. The lack of international liquidity and temporary exclusion of some gambling forms is also mentioned as factors, which may limit the potential growth of the Spanish gambling market.
It remains to be seen just how attractive the Spanish market will prove to be to foreign operators. Some industry experts express their fears that it may suffer the same fate of the French market, where high taxes drive out gaming operators.
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