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  • Obtaining a license for betting in Spain

    All forms of gambling are allowed in Spain, and land-based and online business in this area has been operating legally since 1977. The gambling business is regulated by the Spanish Gaming Act, which entered into force on May 29, 2011, and the functions of the main regulator are performed by the General Directorate for Gambling Regulation, which issues state licenses. Within the region, local authorities are responsible for gambling.

    Gambling regulators

    The main regulator – the General Directorate for Gambling Regulation is subordinate to the Ministry of Finance and performs the following functions:

    • comes out with a proposal of bills to regulate the gambling market;
    • defines functional and technical requirements for games;
    • issues licenses to operators that operate in more than one region;
    • controls and inspects the gambling business, and also imposes penalties for non-compliance with the law;
    • prepares reports, reports, studies on the gambling market.

    Local authorities issue licenses to operators operating only within the region. In addition, they oversee business and enforce local laws in 17 regions of Spain.

    How To Obtain A Gambling License In Spain

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    Conditions for obtaining a license

    In Spain, it is possible to obtain licenses for betting, software, casino games and other forms of gambling entertainment, except for lotteries.

    All licenses are divided into two types: general and special. In this case, the operator needs to get both.

    A general license gives permission to conduct bets, contests (competitions) and other gambling activities. The term of such a license is 10 years with the possibility of extension for another 10 years.

    Special licenses provide for the certification of a specific game organized by the operator. Such a license can only be obtained on the condition that a general one has been previously obtained. The validity period of such licenses is from 1 to 5 years.

    In Spain, there are also licenses to organize games at the federal level (throughout the country) and at the regional level (only in one province).

    Note that the law does not limit the number of licenses, and the issuance procedure provides for checking the reliability of the operator and its compliance with the relevant requirements.

    Requirements for licensed gambling operators

    Главным требованием является базирование организации в экономической зоне Европейского Союза и специализация деятельности только в игорном бизнесе.

    Кроме этого, компания должна пройти регистрацию в Spanish Commercial Register. При этом иностранные компании регистрируются в аналогичном реестре, но только у себя в стране, а затем и в General Registry of Gambling Licences. Также у них должен быть постоянный представителя в Испании.

    Оператор обязан предоставлять необходимые документы по финансам и экономике, а также все данные по техническому обеспечению и персоналу.

    Обязательная плата за технические консультации составляет € 38 000,00. Общая лицензия стоит 2500,00 и по 10.000,00 придется платить каждую исключительную лицензию. Обращаем внимание, что оплата проводится наличными деньгами.

    Стоимость гарантий для игрового оператора в общей сложности составляют 2 000 000,00 евро в общей сложности, и 1 000 000,00 евро для каждого игрового режима. Причем, что денежные расходы можно оплатить через страховой полис

    How much does a license cost?

    Upon obtaining a license, the costs of the operator include:

    • EUR 10,000 for each general and special license;
    • 2,500 EUR for each license that must be entered into the Gaming Registry;
    • 38,000 EUR for the certification of all licenses, including mandatory consultations before obtaining a license.

    In addition, operators pay tax every year until January 31 for the General Directorate for Gambling Regulation, which is 0.075% of the previous year’s revenue.

    Licensed types of gambling

    Gambling subject to certification in Spain is divided into two categories: federal and regional levels. At the same time, the list of games at the two levels has slight differences.

    Federal law provides for the licensing of the following games:

    • pools on sports betting;
    • pools in horse racing;
    • fixed sports betting and betting on horse racing;
    • contests (competitions);
    • poker;
    • bingo;
    • roulette;
    • black Jack;
    • baccarat;
    • slot machines;
    • additional games that combine the game of chance with skill and knowledge for entertainment purposes only.

    All 17 regions of the country have created and maintain their own catalogs of gambling and gaming products allowed by operators. On average, the list of licensed games in the regions includes:

    • French roulette;
    • American roulette;
    • black Jack;
    • bowls;
    • red and black (thirty and forty);
    • craps;
    • baccarat;
    • poker;
    • slots and other gaming machines;
    • bingo;
    • raffles;
    • tombolou or charity raffles;
    • rates;
    • sports betting;
    • horse racing;
    • wheel of Fortune.

    All games are subject to specific licenses and separate regulations under the Spanish Gaming Act.

    Online gambling in Spain

    The online gambling business in Spain is showing constant and rapid growth. At the same time, the main development belongs to casino games and bets.

    The share of profits from sports betting made by players is 50% of all income – for betting and about 25% – for casino games. Note that competitions, bingo and poker are not very popular in Spain.

    However, there is a limitation in the online gambling business in Spain, which is that residents can only play in their region. Therefore, obtaining a license at the federal level makes it possible to solve this problem. Having a federal software certificate, an online casino allows online operators to offer services not only in their region, but throughout the country.

    Online operators also receive separate licenses for each type of game, such as: betting, raffles, contests, casino games, and so on.

    Tax rates for online gambling are determined at the federal level in an amount that depends on the type of game:

    • sports betting pools – 22% of the total income (turnover is the total amount contributed by all players to participate);
    • fixed sports betting – 25% of GGR (annual income);
    • horse betting pools – 15% of total income;
    • fixed horse rates – 25% of GGR;
    • raffles – 20% of total income. For non-profit organizations, the rate is 7%;
    • contests (competitions) – 20% of the total income;
    • other games (poker, casino games, bingo, slots, etc.) – 25 from GGR.

    Certification of gambling software in Spain

    Gambling operators in Spain must have certified software, hardware, systems, terminals and tools necessary to carry out their activities.

    In addition, the systems of gambling operators must comply with the technical requirements established in Spain.

    The Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling closely monitors compliance with these requirements.

    The General Administration of Gambling Regulation of the Ministry of Economy and Finance cooperates with some independent bodies to evaluate and certify gambling software. The products of their joint activities are reports on the software used by the operators, on the level of their security of their information, on compliance with the requirements.

    During the open audit procedure, independent experts evaluate all the necessary parameters of the software, as well as the experience and professionalism of operators.

    Thanks to a wide range of certified Spanish casino providers, as well as the services of an integration platform, CasinoEngine, operators have been able to enter and carve out a niche in the Spanish online casino market.

    The licensing procedure is opened at the request of the interested party. Approval or rejection of the application is given 6 months. The issued license is valid for 10 years, after which it can be extended for another such period.

    With special permission, the owner organizes all types of regulated games included in the general license. The period of validity of the special permit is 1 year with the possibility of extension for five years. When a general license is closed in Spain, the special certificates associated with it are cancelled.

    The following forms of enterprises can apply for a license:

    • a public limited company;
    • a company registered in Spain;
    • a company registered in the territory of a member state of the European Union.

    For online gaming operators, there is a strict rule that requires the registration of local resources on the .es domain. The amount of the fine for working without a license or its violation is up to 50 million euros.

    Conclusions

    The Gambling Law, passed in 2011, was a turning point in Spanish gambling legislation and allowed online gambling to become more organized.

    State law regulates all forms of online gambling, but the autonomous regions of Spain may partially introduce their own restrictions.

    The law regulates all types of sports betting, games with a random outcome, poker and slots. However, there is a ban on the game of bingo in the country, with the exception of a few regions.

    Running a licensed business in Spain requires the timely payment of taxes and fees, the use of local domains and some other conditions. Operators operating without a license are banned.

    Licensees have to pay 25% of their gross income, which is quite a high figure. However, there was hope that it could be reduced when the relevant law comes into force.

    The draft law under consideration assumes that losses will be deducted from victories and taken into account in the amount of the tax payment. Such a change could be a sure way to increase the number of operators who want to purchase a Spanish gambling software license.

    It is worth saying that licenses in Spain require renewal every 3-5 years, depending on the type of game, and this involves additional payments.

    According to some experts in the gambling industry, the Spanish gambling market is as large as the British one or even surpasses it.

    For example, the country hosts the largest lottery in the world – El Gordo, and several other large lotteries, and the country’s gambling future has promising long-term forecasts.

    If you want to obtain a license to conduct a gambling business in Spain, please contact our company. We will provide you with consulting and practical assistance, including legal support in the process of obtaining a permit!

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