Changes in Spanish Casino Legislation

Spain has for a long time been identified as a country with a lot of gamblers. This is based on the revenue collected from legal gambling, and also taking into account the huge amounts of money spent on illegal gambling avenues.

Legalization of gambling in Spain

Gambling was legalized in Spain in 1977 while games of chance such as slots were legalized in 1981. There is an 18 year age limit at present to prevent minors from entering casinos, bingo halls and playing at slot machines. Apart from these forms of gambling, card games are also popular in Spain. Add to this, the prevalence of Spaniards placing bets on contests and events, and the importance of gambling in Spain cannot be ignored. Spain also has a lottery, and there are numerous lottery kiosks scattered around the country that cater to betting enthusiasts. It has become a source of employment for the disabled and is used to fund different endeavors in the country.

The passing of internet gaming regulations

While most of gambling is based on the national lottery, there has been a significant improvement in gambling since the passing of Internet gaming regulations in 2006. It allowed sports betting in shops, in the internet and in retail stores. The regional Spanish governments have passed and implemented various regulations concerning internet gambling since then.

After this, the first sports betting shop was opened in Madrid in 2008. In 2010, the laws surrounding online gambling concerning games of chance and skill were drafted, and Playtech became the first to be awarded an online gambling license in partnership with the Casino Gran Casino in Madrid. This license did not cater to online poker, roulette, slots and blackjack games.

In 2011, the Spanish Gambling Act was passed to put in place a regulatory framework covering all forms of online gambling; and this time no casino games were left out. After this, there were more than 50 operators allowed into the Spain online gambling market. However, their licenses were still reviewed in 2012, but the consensus was that any operator allowed into the market would get a 10 year gaming license to be renewed for the same length of time afterwards. It insisted that online casino operators have separate licenses for each game they provided to their customer base. There was a caveat that all licensed casinos had to house their servers in Spain and operate using a domain name.

Taxing of casinos in Spain

Based on Spanish gambling regulations, casinos are taxed between 20 -25% of all profits they earn from gambling. The Spanish government has a monopoly on the gaming industry in Spain and so they regulate and control anything concerning gaming.

With all the regulations on gambling, it’s no surprise that the state owned lottery has a lion’s share of the revenue from gambling in Spain, this is followed by things like land based slots, Bingo, games in land based casinos, pool betting and online gambling. Of all the betting avenues open to Spaniards, sports’ betting gets the lion’s share of online betting revenue followed by poker, then casino games and lastly Bingo. The poor performance in online gambling is due to restrictive gambling laws surrounding taxation and smoking bans.

These are some of the facts surrounding gambling in Spain and the laws passed over time till present to govern it.