As with many nations, Spanish Gambling Laws are a tiered system which includes some regulation at the national level and others in others in more localized jurisdictions. When too many cooks put their hands in the brew, or too many crooks put get their hands in the till, there are bound to be problems.
At present, the Spanish federal government is trying to get a bill out by year’s end. The most important aspect of that bill is the tax structure.
Madrid’s director of gaming and taxation felt that regional authorities have been neglected. Moreover, online gambling regulations already in place, within some regions of Spain, have been ignored.
Unable to compete fairly with foreign operators already in the Spanish Market, the Loterias y Apuestas del Estado (LAE, operator of the Spanish national lottery) has done its best to delay internet gambling reforms so that they could have more time to develop a viable business. When the government announced plans to partially privatize LAE, which is also contained in the current bill, lottery venders threatened strikes.
Market analysts are now suggesting that Spain’s internet wagering market won’t take off even in late 2011, as previously predicted. Pessimists are even ruling out a launch by summer of 2012.
Not everybody is losing out. This is good news for Bet365, Unibet, and other online sportsbooks in Spain. Had the bill passed, these operators would have needed to obtain a license a license sooner, which, of course, comes with paying taxes. This delay leaves them with greater liquidity while they also prepare for the liberalization of the Greek market.