Gambling activities in Spain are officially allowed and controlled by the country’s law. The Gambling Act – Act No. 13/2011 from May 26th, 2011 oversees Spain’s gambling market, and it is specifically related to the regulation of online gambling.
Although being legal for more than 30 years, before the Internet era, the gambling operators in Spain have been only regulated locally by the respective autonomous community authorities. The first Internet gambling laws were passed in 2006 by the Spanish Government legalizing both – online gambling and land-based betting shops and casinos. In 2007 the Spanish Parliament passed the Law on Measures to Develop the Information Society, requiring the Government to regulate online betting and gambling in Spain. However, the first formal gambling regulator body appears to be the State Lotteries (Loterías y Apuestas del Estado) (LAE), which ran all of the respective processes from September 2010 prior to the incorporation of the General Directorate for Gambling Regulation or La Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ).
Coming into force on May 29th, 2011, the Gambling Act covers all forms of online and offline betting, including lotteries, casinos, sports, and poker betting. Operators willing to obtain a license must apply to get one from the General Directorate for Gambling Regulation, which is a part of the Ministry of Finance. The procedure starts with a public tender, announced by the Ministry, and all applicants need to meet certain criteria. One of the conditions is that the company servers need to be located in Spain. Also, the minimum guaranteed amount for a single license is at least €1m. Operators failing to meet the requirements are banned from operating in Spain.
Apart from the State authorities, the Spanish Gambling Act provides the 17 Spanish autonomous communities with the opportunity to dictate the gambling regulations within their respective regions.
The law is focused on regulating the national gambling operations through various means, including the media, the Internet, and different means of mass communications. Advertising or promoting gambling activities or an operator is a subject of State approval. Besides, advertising or sponsoring a gambling operator without a license is strictly prohibited. Games supplied by the lottery operators LAE and ONCE are also currently monitored and controlled by the Act.
It is illegal, though, for Spanish citizens to bet with operators who do not hold a Spanish license.
Like in many other countries, you need to be over the age of 18 to bet and play in an online casino. Even in the company of an adult, minors are not allowed to enter land-based casino premises.
In February 2020, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs in Spain set a limit on the online casino welcome bonuses of €100 and reduced the online gambling advertising time frame to 4 hours starting at 1 AM. Furthermore, it announced that all gamblers facing addiction problems could participate in a self-exclusion program, blocking them from using certain online credit sources. All these actions come as a part of the Royal Decree Project, aiming to lower gambling addiction issues among the citizens.
Further in November, the Ministry imposed a total ban on the welcome bonuses. Presently, only existing customers with at least three deposits made are eligible for bonuses.
Being the home of one of the major European championships, The Spanish La Liga, it comes as no surprise that most local citizens prefer sports betting. The Spanish government currently banned gambling sponsorships in all football tournaments as a security precaution measure against the increasing number of youths displaying addictive behavior.
Compared to many other European countries’ gambling laws, the ones operating on Spanish territory are considered to be far more tolerant. Anywhere worldwide, gambling winnings over a certain amount are subject to taxation. The same goes for Spain, but the enjoyable moment is that you can actually deduct the losses from your winning amount for the same taxation period, making your profits a little higher.
As for the accepted payment methods, players can use the most common such as Visa/Mastercard credit and debit cards, Skrill, Neteller, Paysafe cards, and Bank transfers, serviced by the local banks. The standard processing time applies to all of them.
Yes, gambling has been legal in Spain for more than 30 years. Since 2011 all online gambling operators need to obtain a license issued from the government. This suggests very strict regulation regarding customer protection and liability as the State monitors and controls all gambling activities.
The National Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling Activities or La Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), a part of the Ministry of Finance, oversees all gambling operators in Spain. It grants all gambling operating licenses, enforces financial penalties, and constantly monitors if all its licensees adhere to the respective laws.
There are no country-specific methods. You can use the most common ones as Visa or Mastercard credit and debit cards, wallets such as Skrill or Neteller, and prepaid cards.
Winnings over € 2500 are subject to taxation, but your losses for the same taxation period will be deducted from the amount won.
The customers’ verification is one of the conditions in the operators’ license agreements. It is important to prevent money laundering or identity thefts. It is largely for your own safety too, as in such way, you will be aware if someone else is using your personal or financial information to play.
Like in most countries worldwide, you need to over the age of 18 to bet and play.
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