Spain’s shaky political climate may delay the opening of the country’s first regulated online gaming market. Sunday’s elections saw the Socialists lose ground to the extent that a General Election could be called before March next year. If that were to happen, the gaming legislation would be delayed past the current date of December.
“The regulator has in mind to start issuing licences in December and the main obstacle now for the process could be an early general election,” Santiago Asensi, a lawyer at Spanish firm Asensi Abogados, told GamblingCompliance.
Although it’s still full steam ahead for those working on the country’s new online gaming law as the European Commission found no major faults with the law itself. GamblingCompliance reports that gaming companies welcomed the law whilst at the same time recognizing that there’s a long way to go.
Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), said, “For us the decrees are now the big issue, and are at least equally as important as the framework. This was round one and we’ve got round two to come.”
He continued, “There are still serious commercial issues to address. The regulations won’t be attractive unless the government fully understands the business side of things.”
Hawskwood also added that there are a number of ambiguities that need to be cleared up. This includes whether online bingo and in-play betting will be allowed under the new law. In addition, it’s not been made clear what presence license holders will need to have on Spanish soil.
The country itself has already been beaten to the pumps by autonomous region Madrid after they reportedly awarded their first license to Casino Gran Madrid. That means they may start offering a number of services way before the rest of the country. A wait that may get even longer.