For many years there was no gambling regulator in Spain. All gambling activities were somewhere in the gray area of the economy. The Spanish Government decided that they too could have a benefit of regulated gambling in Spain. On the 5th of June, 2012 the gaming market was officially open with the launching of the dedicated websites with .es.
Before this, gambling services were regulated by their respective local authorities. At that time casino operators could have operate without a national license, however, they had their marketing limited solely to the local territory.
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The regulator of gambling services and casino games is the Spanish Gambling Commission. It is a part of the Spanish Ministry of Finance. Willing applicants can apply for one of the three available licenses:
These licenses cover all sorts of sports betting and gambling services you can think of.
Eligible parties that can apply for one of the three licenses must be a publicly limited company registered in Spain. Taxes range between 20%-30% and there is an additional gross profit tax of 25%.
After so many years of unregulated gambling the Spaniards wanted to make the rules and regulations perfect the first time. The Gambling Central Unit has to be located in a place where the authorities can monitor its activities. On top of this before even make the pilot testing of the website all of the equipment the casino operator has is thoroughly tested for any loopholes or features that might be against the player’s interest.
Be aware that only residents of Spain can wager on casinos that are licensed by the Spanish Gambling Commission. Operating a casino illegally in Spain can be the reason for penalties reaching staggering 50m EUR.
A fair move the Spanish government made was to allow the already present online casinos to apply for a license according the new instated regulations. They gave them time to prepare for the requirements. This was a sign of good will. Another thing the authorities did was deleting all casinos’ databases. All information regarding their players were erased.