Spain Jurisdiction profile
Address: General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling
C/ Atocha, 3 MADRID 28012
The gambling market of Spain is quite large, with more than 50 land-based casinos bringing in the bulk of the country’s revenues. Online gambling is also on offer, helping to further increase earnings from betting. All forms of gambling are regulated in the country and supervised by various national entities.
Gambling has been around for many years in Spain, but it was in 2011 that the industry received a large overhaul of its services. A new regulatory framework was implemented to create better nationwide control and functionality within the industry. Changes were made to protect players as well as operators that offer services. Before the changes, each of the regions of Spain was in charge of its gambling legislation.
With the changes, progress was made to regulate gambling nationally. Amendments were passed to protect consumers better, handle money laundering and fraud, and prevent risk. Licensing procedures were established, plus high standards of service.
The Spanish Gambling Act created three main government bodies to oversee the industry. The National Gambling Commission is in charge of licensing providers, resolving issues, and protecting everyone involved. The Commission also will penalize or enlist sanctions against entities as needed.
The Gambling Policy Council is a second government body that works on regional policies. It decides on policy needs and then provides the information to the Economy and Treasury Ministry so they can determine the gaming rules.
A company must be approved for licensing to be eligible to offer online services in Spain. A license is required for online and land-based services. Several requirements must be met before a company is approved. Experienced companies are allowed to apply, and they must showcase how they will operate a successful business.
Applicants for online gaming must have a Spanish internet domain and make sure all connections to services go through it.
The National Gambling Commission can provide three different permits. The first is a single license that allows for each gambling game for one to five years. A general license is also up for grabs, allowing a company to enter the market and conduct business for ten years. It can be renewed. Another permit is offered for occasional gaming, with activity taking place anywhere in the country.
Efforts are also being made to tighten up problem gambling prevention and ad restrictions. Legislators would like to see additional restrictions regarding wide-reaching advertisements after changes were made in 2020. Currently, ads can only air on television and radio from 1 am to 5 am. Gambling sponsorships with football teams were also banned in 2020.
A much stricter approach has been seen in the industry regarding player protections to ensure that the vulnerable are not at risk. This includes all types of marketing campaigns. Such restrictions began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and stuck around to ensure tougher player protections.
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