Spain Online Casino Guide

Gambling Industry Overview in Spain

The following approaches will be presented

  • Gambling legislation in Spain
  • Gambling authorities in Spain
  • Online casinos in Spain
  • and more

Gambling is legalized on the territory of Spain as it is a favorite pastime of local citizens. The country can boast with a flourishing gambling industry because of the fact that Spain is currently one of the most gambling nations in the world. Card games and dominoes are considered to be among the most loved games, plus cockfighting games, which have become one of the most attractive ones for local citizens.

Flag of SpainStill, the country has set strict rules about the legal age of the players who are provided with the opportunity to wager. Spanish law is categorical that no minors are allowed to enter gaming venues such as casinos, slot machine centres, gaming parlors and bingo halls.

There are currently more than 60 casinos and 7 racetracks over the country’s territory. More than 250,000 gambling machines have also been reported to be present in Spain.

Overview

Spain has legalized all kinds of gambling activities, which basically means that the local citizens can take advantage of all kinds of such games and activities. For most of the last century and a half, the gambling activities in the country were limited primarily to basic lotteries. Over the period, the legal gambling was thoroughly monitored and controlled by the state.

The Spanish Government officially permitted games of skill in 1977. Games chance such as slot machines were legalized several years later – in 1981.

There were some changes in the country’s gambling legislation that took effect in June 2012. The amendments included the online operators regulation plus setting some penalties for organizing illegal gambling activities.

Some of the most-preferred gambling activities in the country are: lottery and bingo games, bullfighting, horse racing and dog racing games, poker games as well as online gambling games.

Overall, the gambling laws on the territory of Spain are considered somehow more relaxed than the ones in many other European countries. Until their official regulation in 2006, gambling venues and online betting operations were regulated primarily by the regional government across Spain.

Relevant Legislation

Gambling Legislation in SpainAccording to the rules of Spanish law, the state and the regional authorities are entitled with the responsibility of regulating the gambling market in the country.

The activities that are located and offered in two or more regions at a time, are to be controlled by the State authorities. However, in case that a certain gambling activity is offered in a single country’s region only, it is controlled and managed by the corresponding regional authorities.

This basically means that gambling activities that have a national scope are monitored and controlled by the State authorities. Such activities are usually based online, just like most national lotteries. The regional authorities are mostly focused on regulating the brick-and-mortar traditional gambling activities. Online gambling, however, is regulated not only by the State authorities, but by the regional ones as well. Still, the extent of regional authorities’ responsibilities is restricted. Their scope is also limited to the online games offering to the region’s residents only.

Spain also has a special authority that is entitled with the powers to monitor, control and regulate gambling activities in the country – the General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling Activities. The latter is subjected to the Ministry of Taxes.

As mentioned above, gambling activities in Spain are officially allowed and controlled by the country’s law. The so-called Gambling Act – Act No. 13/2011 from May 26th, 2011 is the major legislative reference to the gambling market in Spain. This Act is considered as the key one for the market and sets the general rules for the activities related to gambling at a national level in the country.

The Gambling Act is focused on regulating the national gambling operations through a variety of means, which include the media, the Internet, means of mass communications, including interactive ones. The provision of games that is carried out by the lottery operators LAE and ONCE is also currently monitored and controlled by the Act. The latter’s scope also include activities such as advertising, promotion and sponsorship of betting activities.

Spain, of course, has a number of secondary regulatory acts when it comes to gambling activities. The basic technical requirements for gambling activities are set by the Royal Decree No.1613/2011. The regulatory regime, on the other hand, is set by the Royal Decree No.1614/2011.

The terms and conditions that regulate the application process for general licences for operation of gambling activities under the main legislative act of Spain are set by Order No. HAP/1995/2014. The application procedure for singular licences in the industry are set by the Resolution approved by the DGOJ on October 15th, 2014. The Ministry also issued several Orders that are focused on the different types of games that are provided to the players in the Spanish gambling market.

Online Gambling in Spain

Internet Gambling in SpainSeveral years ago, there were no specific regulations of online gambling in Spain. The beginning was set more than a decade ago – in 2002 – when the regulation and legalization of web-based gambling in the country was first set. The betting landscape in the country finally changed in 2011 with the introduction of the Spanish Gambling Act that created a framework for licensing online gambling operators in Spain.

The Law 13/2011 on Gambling (the Gambling Act) came into effect several months later – in June 2012. Since the law enforcement, more than 70 gambling operators have been granted licences. As a result, more than one million players started to wager on the Spanish online gambling market before the end of 2012. Currently, the statistics show that more than 50% of the players who use the activities and services offered online are engaged in sports betting.

Online slots and exchange betting were prohibited in the country until recently. Later, Spanish lawmakers made a decision to alter these regulations, which led to the official introduction of the options in the end of July 2014.

The operators that want to get a licence must apply to get one for creating an web-based casino first.

The major purpose of the Gambling Act of the country is to set some rules and harmonize the regulation of online gambling activities in Spain. The authorities have realized that in order to do that, a national coordination and efficiency is needed. This was a great step forward for the Spanish Government, which has set a target of creating stronger, unite and consolidated gaming legislation in the country.

The Spanish Gambling Act was introduced in February 2011, after which the Spanish Congress passed it a few months later. The law was published in the Spanish State Gazette on May 28th, 2011.

Still, the Spanish Gambling Act provides the autonomous communities with the opportunities to determine the major gambling regulations and follow some policies within their respective regions. However, it main goal was to create a unite regulatory framework for the entire country on the matters of all forms of online gaming actions.

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