Spain’s congress today approved about 100 amendments that were made to the country’s Gambling Act. Approval of the Senate’s wide-ranging changes means that the country may start to regulate the market as early as next month. Operators would then begin entering the market towards the end of this year and start of 2012.
Eduardo Morales Hermo, senior advisor for Spain and Latin America for gambling consultants Ficom Leisure, told eGaming Review, “Upon its publication the new regulation will still have to be subject to the EU’s blessing which is also expected this month. Furthermore, there are another three decree laws that set out the requirements, protocols and conditions to enable operators and providers to apply for licenses and go through the approval process. These are expected to be published before the end of June.”
Under the new regulatory regime Spain has opted for a gross profits tax (GPT) after recommendations from the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) to choose this over a turnover tax. The rate of 25%, although less prohibitive than France, is still a way off Italy. It could be something that harms Spain’s chances in the long run.
The law itself will allow most online gaming. It, however, doesn’t contain any provision for live betting and bingo is also not included as yet. It will, however, allow Spanish clubs to offer sports betting on their premises, which is something that was pivotal to the deal.
Sportingbet has already indicated a willingless to apply for a license under the new system and could be at the front of the queue. Whether it will be a good move remains to be seen.