Category: Online slots

Spanish Gambling Regulatory Authorities

Spanish Gambling Regulatory Authorities

The collaboration between Casinos en línea con premios asombrosos and international agencies demonstrates a Reguulatory effort Aufhorities maintain the integrity of sports Authprities Juegos de lotería instantánea protect the Regulatorry of Spaanish bettors Juegos de lotería instantánea the betting industry as a whole. Mondaq uses cookies on this website. In addition, bingo hall operators must comply with filing requirements related to employees and obtain authorisations for transfers of ownership or variations in the terms and conditions of the licence. Cl ve is a system aimed at unifying and simplifying citizens' electronic access to public services. The aim of the DSA the Actas covered in our earlier article

Sapnish Juegos de lotería instantánea is a boutique law firm Gambllng in the gaming and gambling sector.

It Gambliing and advises a large number of international Spaish companies with Canje de premios en dinero across the Spanish and Latin American markets. Spanosh firm works for the largest online betting and casino operators, Authlrities providers, skill games operators, affiliates and Spajish solution Rfgulatory, as well as land-based Regulatorj, slot-machine Gajbling and suppliers.

Asensi Rebulatory has offices Regulatoy Madrid, Auhhorities and Bogotá, and is part of Regulahory Spanish Digital Gaming Regu,atory Jdigital.

A team of two partners and nine associates operates in Spain, while the Colombian office is composed of one partner and three associates. This latter regulation seeks to offer a comprehensive protection framework for all Ganbling in a game and establishes Authotities protection Regulatoty for certain groups of players based on their specific Regulaotry.

The online gambling industry, according to the latest quarterly report Q2 issued Authirities the Spanish gambling regulator, saw a robust 2.

This represents a significant In addition, the Spanksh gambling Oportunidades de Ganar con Jackpot en Línea, which suffered due to the COVID pandemic inwitnessed Authoritiex profound rebound as Gsmbling, with the total stakes in Brillar con Sorteo de Joyas gambling such as Juegos de lotería instantánea, bingo, Regulatlry betting machines, soaring to EUR Gambling regulation in Spain is divided between online gambling that is Authoities at a federal level, Authortiies land-based or online gambling that is offered within one region.

Online games offered at a federal Regulqtory require a Atuhorities licence that entitles the Spamish to operate Gqmbling in the whole territory. Juegos de lotería instantánea, land-based Gamlbing or online games offered at a regional level in one or several regions require Spanieh relevant licence from the relevant autonomous region.

Therefore, Regulayory gambling in Spain is Spaanish at both federal Protección al jugador regional level, and Regularory applicable regulation, and which gambling products Consejos de Fantasy Sports en Español be legally Gmabling, depends on whether these are commercialised at a national level or only at a GGambling level in one Soanish several autonomous Authroities in Spain.

A game is Authoritiws permitted if it is not regulated or Creencias erróneas sobre las probabilidades de tragamonedas not covered under any of the regulations in force.

The Auuthorities games have been regulated so far, and are therefore permitted Regulatkry be offered Authoriies a federal level:. Land-based gambling Regulatorg online gambling at Spamish regional level are regulated by each of Authoritles 17 autonomous regions in Spain and the autonomous Spnaish of Ceuta and Melilla.

Instead of a specific regulation per type of game, each autonomous region approves Regulxtory catalogue of games that Gamblint permitted and can be offered.

There are some minor differences between the regions, but the following gaming products are generally approved Regulstory Spanish Gambling Regulatory Authorities. It is important Authoritiws highlight Regulatody the various formats of Reegulatory products Rehulatory and Regjlatory above might be permitted Gambbling different forms, at both the federal and Liga de Campeones levels different forms of blackjack, roulette, poker, Athorities.

Loterías y Apuestas del Estado LAE and the Juegos de lotería instantánea Organisation of Pot odds en el póker Blind in Spain ONCE Regulatoru the monopoly on lotteries offered at a Regupatory level.

Only charitable organisations can organise Coronas de recompensa en apuestas de talento, which are Gambllng a restricted product.

Fantasy sports can be offered at a federal level if they fit under any of the single licences Autohrities by the regulation. Regulztory on the autonomous region, they can also be offered at a Mejora tus premios level; in both cases, they are subject to licensing.

Social gaming Authoritiea permitted, and these games Regulatoty not subject to Refulatory licence, at a federal or regional level. Games of skill are outside the scope of the current Spanish regulatory framework and thus, are Ga,bling subject to licensing. Authoritjes and ONCE Regulaatory the monopoly on lotteries Authoritiies at a federal level, Spanish Gambling Regulatory Authorities only Rdgulatory regions Spanihs lottery operators.

As explained in 2. There are certain Juegos de lotería instantánea among the regions, Auhtorities the following gaming products are generally permitted:. Regylatory key legislation Gammbling land-based and online gambling Gamblihg a regional level is approved by each of the 17 Regulatogy regions in Reglatory and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, so each autonomous Regulatroy has Spanish Gambling Regulatory Authorities own Gambling Act and Regulatogy regulations developing the Gambling Act.

The Gambling Act defines gambling Spanisy an activity in which Spwnish of money or Gamhling measurable objects are put at pSanish on uncertain and Authoritiss events, Regulatorg at least to Regulattory extent on chance, Gamb,ing that allows Sapnish sums to be transferred between the participants, regardless of whether the Refulatory of skill of the Authoruties is decisive in the results or whether Spnish depend wholly or fundamentally on luck or chance.

The prizes can be in cash or Gamblinh kind, depending on Autgorities type of Bingo y famosos españoles. If any of these elements is absent, the Regulaory will fall outside the Regulafory of gambling, thus, the corresponding gambling regulation Authlrities not be applicable for example, pure skill games will be excluded or prizes in virtual currency with no monetary value.

The Gambling Act defines online gambling as games performed through electronic channels, IT and interactive systems, when any device, equipment or system is employed to produce, store or transfer documents, data or information, including through any public or private communication network.

The communication network can include television, the internet, landlines, mobile phones or any other interactive communication system, in real time or recorded. Given the regulatory distinction regarding the gambling sector in Spain, infractions and the related sanctioning regime are approved by the Spanish Gambling Act and by each autonomous region with respect to its territory and competence.

In both cases, administrative infractions are divided into three groups: very serious, serious and minor. Compiling the different regulations, the key offences can be summarised as indicated below. Unlawful gambling is sanctioned under the Gambling Act with a fine of between EUR1 million and EUR50 million.

In addition to the fine, the regulator is entitled to revoke the licence of the entity carrying out the unlawful gambling, disqualify it from carrying out gambling activities for a maximum of four years, or close the media through which information society services were delivered and which supported the unlawful gambling activities.

Each regional gaming regulation — both online and land-based — approves its own sanctioning regime; however, in most of them, unlawful gaming is sanctioned with a fine of up to EUR, In addition to the fine, regulators are entitled to revoke the licence or to impose a temporary removal of the licence for a maximum of five years.

With the regulation on online gambling advertising published in and the new Royal Decree on safer gambling published inthe legal regime for online gambling at federal level is now duly consolidated, without prejudice to the forthcoming regulations that are currently being updated or developed:.

At the regional level, the most relevant pending legislation in most autonomous regions is still the regulation on advertising and responsible gambling. The regulatory authority for online gambling at the federal level is the DGOJ.

Since Novemberthis authority has been put under the umbrella of the new Ministry of Social Rights, Consumer Affairs and Agenda prior to this, it was under the umbrella of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs for almost four years and under the Ministry of Finance before that and is competent, at the federal level, to:.

The regulatory authority for regional gambling — both online and land-based — depends on each autonomous region. These authorities are usually under the umbrella of the relevant regional departments of finance or the interior.

Before discussing the approach to gambling regulation in Spain, a differentiation should be made between:. Online gambling can be offered at a federal or regional level. Customarily, entities apply for federal licences since this way they can offer online gambling in the whole territory without having to apply for licences at a regional level.

To offer online gambling in Spain at a federal level, entities must obtain a general licence for each category of game betting, contest or other games and a single licence for each type of game included in its general licence category. The regulatory approach to land-based gambling is based on the licensing or authorisation regime approved by each autonomous region.

The requirements and conditions vary depending on the region and type of licence that an entity is interested in applying for.

Please refer to 3. Other than these, there have been no significant changes to the licensing and regulatory framework in Spain over the past year. For example, an entity that wishes to commercialise bingo, baccarat and poker will need one general licence other games and three single licences bingo, baccarat and poker.

In other words, general licences per se are not valid to offer games; to do so, the entity will also need to obtain a single licence for each type of game within its category.

General licences can only be obtained through a public tender process announced by the DGOJ. Entities can apply for single licences together with the general licence or at any other time, provided that they have already been granted and still hold the relevant general licence.

Each region has competence to establish its own licences and its own licensing procedure and regime. There have been three public calls for general licences for online gambling at the federal level since the approval of the Spanish Gambling Act in inand None of the three public tenders limited the number of operators that could be granted a licence, nor the number of licences to be granted.

In other words, all those operators that met the requirements established within the tender obtained the licence. The Spanish regulation permits any interested party to request a new call for gambling licences at least 18 months after the previous call.

The processes for regional land-based licences are approved by each autonomous region and, depending on the type of licence and region, there can be limits on the number of licences available for example, licences for betting shops in the Canary Islands or the licences can be limited to one and subject to a public tender process as is the case, for example, for licences for land-based casinos.

General licences are valid for ten years, extendable by another ten. Single licences have a minimum duration of one year and a maximum duration of five, depending on the type of gambling product, and these are also extendable by successive periods of the same duration.

The expiry of the general licence that the single licence is linked to implies the expiry of the single licence as well. The duration of licences depends on each region and type of licence. Customarily, licences are valid for ten years, extendable by another ten.

Although there are differences between the application requirements for land-based operators with slight differences among the regions and online operators subject to the Gambling Act, the requirements are always divided into three sections to prove legal, economic and technical solvency.

The timing of the application process depends on the applicable regulation, type of licence and conditions approved by the corresponding public tender, if applicable.

For instance, the last window to apply for general licences for online gambling at a federal level was opened for one year, with interested parties being entitled to apply for their licences between December and December The DGOJ had a term of six months from the submission of the relevant applications to issue or refuse the licences.

Initially, the licences are granted with a provisional nature. To obtain definitive licences, operators must submit the definitive certification report of the technical systems to the DGOJ within a maximum term of four months from the provisional granting.

Once the certification documentation is submitted, the DGOJ proceeds with the review and the granting of the definitive licences within a maximum term of two months. Operators can start operating with the provisional licence. The duration of regional licences depends on each regional regulation and, if applicable, on the conditions of the public tender process.

Customarily, it takes between three and six months from the submission of the application for the regulator to review and proceed with the granting of the relevant licence.

For online gambling licence applications at a federal level, entities must pay the following administrative fees:. For regional licence applications, the cost depends on the region and the type of licence applied for. For online gambling licences at a federal level, there is an annual fee of 0.

Each region has its own regulation for each type of premises licensing: casinos, gaming halls, bingos and betting shops. Therefore, the requirements for licensing depend on the premises and the autonomous region in question. Also, in some cases, casino premises for example, licensing is subject to a public tender process.

Notwithstanding the above-mentioned regional variation, in general terms the requested documentation aims to prove the legal, technical and economic solvency of the applicant. The main requirements and differences that can be identified are as follows:. The land-based gambling sector is still implementing certain changes, with the aim of reinforcing the protection of vulnerable individuals and tightening the regulation of gambling advertising.

The main changes in this regard are as follows. This positioned the Balearic Island at the forefront of regions pioneering measures to combat gambling addiction. With the application of the new Balearic regulations, slot machines will cease to emit lights or sounds, remain dormant when not in use, and incorporate a start-up screen that will ask the user about their legal age and warn them about the potential risks of addiction associated with the game.

Included among the significant changes in this new regulation is a provision requiring a minimum distance of metres between gaming establishments and educational centres, as well as the prohibition on cash withdrawals from point of sales terminals with credit cards within the premises of gaming establishments.

On 4 Julya new Gambling Law was issued in Galicia. This law dictates that leisure and dining venues, which do not primarily serve as gaming establishments, are now limited to two recreational machines each.

Bars are permitted to host type A special slot machines and type B betting machines. Bingo halls can additionally include type B special machines, whereas casinos are allowed type C machines, which are entirely based on chance and offer larger prizes.

In response to public concerns, the law has changed the distance regulations between gaming establishments and educational centres. The required distance has been increased from metres to

: Spanish Gambling Regulatory Authorities

Gaming in Spain: overview | Practical Law

Yet there is still a good number of companies utilizing it for licensing status, such as Betfred, Casumo , Gamesys, LeoVegas, and more. When Did the DGOJ Begin Operating? What Type of Licences Does the DGOJ Offer?

Three types of general licenses are provided by the DGOJ — "bets", "contests", and "other games". Singular licenses are also present for specific gambling games and options.

How Much Does It Cost to Apply for a Spanish Gambling Licence? Where Can I See a DGOJ Licence at an Online Casino? You can usually see a DGOJ license by navigating to the footer of an online casino and seeking out the logo.

Can I Complain to the DGOJ about an Operator That I Think Is Unlicensed? Yes, you can submit a complaint about an operator that you believe is unlicensed in Spain.

You can do this by visiting the DGOJ website and filling out a complaints form. Jack Meyer aims to guide readers towards becoming more proficient casino players. Since he started playing online casinos in , he has dedicated himself to sharing his passion for casino gaming.

He provides insights into the best, safest, and most trustworthy online casinos on CasinoReviews. net and keeps readers updated with the latest industry news and casino products. Jack's goal is to make the readers' gaming experiences enjoyable and successful. Casino Reviews Gaming Regulation Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling.

Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling Licensing Requirements and Fees. What Does the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling Do? Other necessities for a DGOJ gambling license include: Incorporation in Spain or elsewhere in the EEA as a Sociedad Anónima SA or the EEA equivalent.

If the applicant is not based in Spain, they need a permanent representative in Spain with the capacity to receive notifications and e-notifications.

The documents filed with the applications fall into three separate groups, which are: Legal Solvency — Includes: Corporate documents. Certificates that it has no outstanding tax and social security payments.

The most serious may lead to revocation of the licence. Nevertheless, any restrictive measures such as gambling monopolies or licensing systems that any given MS may impose in its gambling legislation may constitute restrictions to the freedom to provide services in the internal market of the EU article 56 of the TFEU and must satisfy the conditions laid down in relevant case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union about their proportionality, suitability and coherence with regard to achieving the policy objectives of the MS.

While legal gambling contracts are valid and amounts won can be claimed, the amounts won through illegal gambling operated without the relevant authorisations cannot be claimed before any court.

Have fines, licence revocations or other sanctions been enforced in your jurisdiction? In pursuit of illegal gambling, the DGOJ tries to ensure unlicensed online gambling in Spain is suppressed mainly by maintaining a register of gambling websites that allow connections from within Spain and verification procedures on websites subject to a complaint, report, claim or ex officio investigation by the DGOJ.

The website register seeks to identify the unauthorised gambling offer, its scope and positioning in the market. Once a website has been registered, it is regularly monitored in order to verify its activity in Spain and, where appropriate, the initiation of a preliminary information file.

The preliminary information procedures are started when a website is subject to a report, complaint or claim. From that moment on, a procedure begins in which, through the check phases, the DGOJ communicates with the operator, initiates the recording of evidence and, finally, proposes opening the sanctioning procedure.

Sanctioning proceedings have grown in terms of amount and quantity of fines over the last few years. Since , the DGOJ has published a list of sanctioned companies on its webpage. It is expected to be passed during Q1—Q2 of At the time of writing, it is not clear when this resolution will be passed.

In July , the Administrative Chamber of the Spanish Supreme Court raised a question of unconstitutionality before the Constitutional Court regarding article 7 paragraph 2 of the Gaming Law, as this article allows a regulation lower than the law i.

Likewise, article 7 paragraph 2 of the Gaming Law should be eliminated from the legal system for being unconstitutional. The DGOJ published in January a draft resolution to regulate i the requirements that must be met by the collaborating entities in the commercialisation of lottery games, when through electronic, computer, telematic or interactive channels, and ii the obligations of lottery operators related to marketing through these collaborating entities and the webpages, applications or other electronic, computer, telematic or interactive channels owned or operated by the external marketing network.

Patricia Lalanda Ordóñez LOYRA Abogados. Fernando A. Martín Martín LOYRA Abogados. LOYRA Abogados. Chapter Content Free Access 1.

Relevant Authorities and Legislation 2. Application for a Licence and Licence Restrictions 3. Enforcement and Liability 5. Anticipated Reforms. Relevant Product Who regulates it in digital form?

Who regulates it in land-based form? The relevant authority within the competent Autonomous Region, of which there are Poker Bingo Betting Betting DGOJ.

Not regulated yet. Lotteries Lotteries The Spanish State. Only in Catalunya. The relevant authority within the competent Autonomous Region.

Skill games and competitions with no element of chance Not regulated. Land-based gambling Casinos: Each Region has established a licensing regime to install and operate casinos.

Usually, whenever a certain Region intends to grant a licence for a new casino, it must call and conduct a public tender, where applicants submit their proposal, which must comply with the requirements of the tender in terms of investment size, technical and financial suitability, location, potential for employment creation, guarantees, feasibility study, etc.

The licence is granted to the applicant who attains the best score according to a scale provided in the tender. Typically, the total number of casinos that can be authorised within a concrete Region, as well as the number of casinos that can be operated by the same operator and its group of companies , are limited.

Once the licence to install the casino has been granted, the applicant must obtain the authorisation to operate it, which is not transferable. Generally, any company that intends to operate a casino must be duly incorporated in Spain, have a certain minimum share capital and have the operation of casinos as its primary business purpose.

Shareholders, directors and top-level management need to undergo a suitability analysis and comply with regulatory requirements. Bingo halls: Regions have passed legislation for the installation and operation of bingo halls, including many requirements as to registration with the competent authority, incorporation, corporate purpose and the provision of financial guarantees.

In addition, bingo hall operators must comply with filing requirements related to employees and obtain authorisations for transfers of ownership or variations in the terms and conditions of the licence. Over the past few years, electronic and inter-connected bingos have been regulated in several Regions.

Bingo halls may also, under certain conditions, operate Type B machines. Sports betting: Regarding sports betting, regulation is variable across the Regions and sports betting terminals and counters can only be installed in certain gambling locations.

Dedicated sports betting locations may also be opened in certain Regions. Gambling machines: Manufacturers and distributors must comply with legislation regarding the physical characteristics of the machines, amounts wagered, prize payout statistics and locations where each type of slot machine may be placed.

In certain Regions, transfers of ownership interest in machine manufacturers and distributors are subject to prior authorisation or notification to the relevant Region. There are no licences for equipment; instead, equipment must be duly certified by a testing house and homologated by the regulator at either the federal or regional level.

Licences for online gambling at the federal level are awarded and issued by the General Directorate for Gambling Regulation DGOJ , which is currently under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. For regional licences land-based and online at the regional level , the body responsible for awarding and overseeing licences is the respective regional gambling authority which, in most cases, is under the umbrella of the regional departments of finance or interior.

At federal level, general gambling licences are granted for periods of 10 years and are renewable for the same timeframe. Single licences are granted for periods of between two and five years depending on the type of licence and are renewable for the same timeframe. Land-based gambling licences are subject to specific regional regulation and will depend on the type of licence.

Casino licences, for instance, are subject to a previous public call and are limited in terms of overall numbers. With regard to other types of land-based licences — for instance, for gaming halls or bingo halls — the key features are different by region.

The main requirements in order to obtain a general gambling licence in Spain to operate online at the federal level are as follows:. The substantive requirements for land-based licences vary from one region to another and also differ depending on the specific type of licence.

The documents needed in order to apply for a licence are divided into three groups, relating to the applicant's legal, economic and technical solvency. The large list of documentation required for licensing purposes includes the following:.

Also, operators must have a bank account opened in Spain for the purpose of protecting players' funds. The timetable depends on the type of licence and region. However, the average timeframe for licences to be reviewed and granted is approximately six months from submission. The application fees vary by region and type of licence.

The application fees for a gambling licence at the federal level are:. In addition, applicants must provide an economic guarantee for each general licence they are interested in applying for.

These amounts are payable only for the application of the licence and until the end of the year following grant of the licence. Licensed operators are entitled to operate and develop their activities under the scope of the licence granted.

The holder of a general licence for online gambling is entitled to apply for a single licence under the umbrella of its general licence at any time; and the holder of a single licence has the right to provide the specific gambling product under the specific single licence.

In such cases, transfer of the licence is subject to the prior authorisation of the regulator, which will be granted only if the entities comply with all necessary requirements.

This basically involves evidencing:. Each of the 17 regions in Spain and the two autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla have their own specific regulations, and consequently, specific requirements and restrictions apply to these different facilities.

Although the different regional regulations are generally similar in terms of the licensing and authorisation procedures, the applicable requirements and conditions vary from region to region.

In this regard, the requirements applicable to gaming halls are similar in all regions — for example:. By contrast, the requirements applicable to casinos and betting shops vary significantly from one region to another — for example:. Following the regulatory distinction in the Spanish gambling sector, the different penalties and sanctions for breach of the gambling legislation are approved and foreseen by the Spanish Gambling Act and by the regulations of each autonomous region with respect to its territory and competence.

In general terms, sanctions are divided into very serious, serious and minor; and the associated penalties also vary depending on the severity of the sanction. The regional regulators are also entitled to revoke or temporarily withdraw a licence. Physical gambling-related advertising is subject both to the royal decree and to the regional regulations on gambling advertising.

Consequently, it must comply with all requirements that the autonomous regions may impose in accordance with their regulations.

However, advertising in gaming-focused printed media at the national level or at sports facilities through a sponsorship agreement is not subject to the regional regulations, but only to the principles of the royal decree.

The new royal decree has also tightened the gambling advertising regulations at the regional level. In this regard, most regions are in the process of adapting their regulations on physical advertising accordingly and are thus taking a more restrictive approach to gambling advertising, with some even prohibiting it altogether.

The Spanish regulations require both online and land-based gambling operators to adopt comprehensive corporate social responsibility policies which recognise that gambling is a complex phenomenon, and which combine preventive, awareness-raising, intervention and control measures, in addition to measures to remedy any negative effects caused.

In this regard, gambling operators must draw up an action plan to mitigate the possible damaging effects of gambling, which incorporates the basic elements of a responsible gambling policy.

In doing so, operators should:. The consumer protection regulations in Spain are well developed; and instead of balancing the positions of consumers and companies, they are clearly tilted towards the over protection of consumers.

In addition to the provisions on social responsibility set out in the applicable regulations — in particular, those on responsible gambling — and those of the Consumer General Protection Act which contains prolific provisions aimed at protecting the rights of consumers , the General Directorate for Gambling Regulation has issued guidance on the drafting of terms and conditions of gambling operators.

This aims to reinforce the contractual position of consumers and to protect the governing principles of any gambling contract, as follows:.

The anti-money laundering AML legislation has been slightly revised to accommodate certain needs arising from gambling activities in Spain, in both the remote and non-remote sectors. However, the reality today is that the AML legislation and the gambling regulations should be updated to strengthen the powers and duties of gambling operators, given the subterfuges used by individuals seeking to launder money through gambling.

Based on the definition of 'gambling' in Spain, the concept of gambling subject to licence requires the existence of three essential elements:. If one or more of these elements is missing, the product or activity will be exempt from the gambling regime and regulations.

Accordingly, games of pure skill fall outside the scope of gambling, as they do not involve a degree of chance; and prizes in contests, sweepstakes or prize draws are also exempt, as long as these are free and no economic contribution is required to participate.

Social gambling is not regulated in Spain. However, the Gambling Act defines 'social games' as:. gambling or contests of pure leisure, hobby or recreation at federal level that constitute social practices that are traditional, familiar or friendly, provided they do not result in transfers economically assessable, except the price for the use of the means for its development, when this measure does not constitute any economic benefit to the developer or operators.

Generally speaking, pursuant to the Civil Code, gambling contracts are enforceable in the same way as any other contract. The contractual relationship between a player and a gambling operator may be described as follows:. The operator's general terms and conditions are governed by the specific gambling regulations — which are totally focused on the protection of the rights of consumers — and the consumer protection regulations.

Each specific betting contract is also governed by the provisions and principles of the Civil Code, which is the main statute — apart from the gambling regulations — that makes each of these individual betting contracts enforceable. Hence, the enforceability of a betting contract will depend on compliance with basic Civil Code provisions.

For instance, if a player tries to enforce a betting contract after the cancellation of a bet by the operator — perhaps because the player tried to obtain an advantage through a technical error from the operator, such as a late bet on which the player was able place a stake once the relevant event had already concluded — the court will need to decide on issues such as:.

Class actions, however, must be heard before the mercantile courts. The culture in Spain is considerably more litigious than in other European jurisdictions.

The player lost at first instance but succeeded on appeal. For the Supreme Court, this "magnitude and disproportion" constituted "an abuse that the law cannot protect". Over the past two years or so, certain developments have prompted a change in legislative and regulatory trends in the gambling sector.

Gaming Law - Spain | Global Practice Guides | Chambers and Partners

This aims to reinforce the contractual position of consumers and to protect the governing principles of any gambling contract, as follows:. The anti-money laundering AML legislation has been slightly revised to accommodate certain needs arising from gambling activities in Spain, in both the remote and non-remote sectors.

However, the reality today is that the AML legislation and the gambling regulations should be updated to strengthen the powers and duties of gambling operators, given the subterfuges used by individuals seeking to launder money through gambling.

Based on the definition of 'gambling' in Spain, the concept of gambling subject to licence requires the existence of three essential elements:. If one or more of these elements is missing, the product or activity will be exempt from the gambling regime and regulations.

Accordingly, games of pure skill fall outside the scope of gambling, as they do not involve a degree of chance; and prizes in contests, sweepstakes or prize draws are also exempt, as long as these are free and no economic contribution is required to participate.

Social gambling is not regulated in Spain. However, the Gambling Act defines 'social games' as:. gambling or contests of pure leisure, hobby or recreation at federal level that constitute social practices that are traditional, familiar or friendly, provided they do not result in transfers economically assessable, except the price for the use of the means for its development, when this measure does not constitute any economic benefit to the developer or operators.

Generally speaking, pursuant to the Civil Code, gambling contracts are enforceable in the same way as any other contract.

The contractual relationship between a player and a gambling operator may be described as follows:. The operator's general terms and conditions are governed by the specific gambling regulations — which are totally focused on the protection of the rights of consumers — and the consumer protection regulations.

Each specific betting contract is also governed by the provisions and principles of the Civil Code, which is the main statute — apart from the gambling regulations — that makes each of these individual betting contracts enforceable. Hence, the enforceability of a betting contract will depend on compliance with basic Civil Code provisions.

For instance, if a player tries to enforce a betting contract after the cancellation of a bet by the operator — perhaps because the player tried to obtain an advantage through a technical error from the operator, such as a late bet on which the player was able place a stake once the relevant event had already concluded — the court will need to decide on issues such as:.

Class actions, however, must be heard before the mercantile courts. The culture in Spain is considerably more litigious than in other European jurisdictions.

The player lost at first instance but succeeded on appeal. For the Supreme Court, this "magnitude and disproportion" constituted "an abuse that the law cannot protect".

Over the past two years or so, certain developments have prompted a change in legislative and regulatory trends in the gambling sector. They include:. Moreover, the town halls of certain cities in Spain which have traditionally been reluctant to allow such premises have established additional restrictions to those set out in the gambling regulations, making the authorisation process even more complex.

With regard to online gambling, in addition to the new royal decree on gambling advertising -which is now fully applicable in Spain although there is currently an unconstitutionality question raised before the Spanish Constitutional Court that should decide whether the regulation goes against the principle of legal reserve- a new regulation on responsible gambling was approved on the 14 th of March , and published in the Official Spanish Gazette the day after.

This regulation will entry into force in 6 months since its publication in the Official Spanish Gazette, with the exception of certain articles which, due to the special complexity of the technological developments involved, will enter into force in 12 months since its publication.

It should also be pointed out that there is currently a legislative process in place aimed to regulate the loot boxes product. The prevailing trend in Spain is thus the protection of consumers through the imposition of new rules and restrictions on operators, resulting in an over-regulated market with excessive protection of consumers.

In light of the current political and regulatory circumstances, the best tip for operators is to ensure full compliance with the regulations, as any infringement could result in economic sanctions as well as other additional measures.

The prevailing trend in Spain reflects that in most other European jurisdictions, where the 'golden days' of the gaming industry seem to have ended and new regulatory restrictions are now commonplace. The rise of populist parties and the proliferation of 'fake news' informed the approval of a new advertising decree which, in practical terms, imposes an almost total ban on gambling advertising.

The new decree on responsible gambling which should come into force mid will only make things more complex. Undoubtedly, these are the two sticking points that operators should bear in mind in the coming months.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances. All Rights Reserved.

Password Passwords are Case Sensitive. Forgot your password? Free, unlimited access to more than half a million articles one-article limit removed from the diverse perspectives of 5, leading law, accountancy and advisory firms.

We need this to enable us to match you with other users from the same organisation. It is also part of the information that we share to our content providers "Contributors" who contribute Content for free for your use. Mondaq uses cookies on this website. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies as set out in our Privacy Policy.

Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment. Spain: Gambling Comparative Guide. by Alla Serebrianskaia and Santiago Asensi. To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq.

For example, does the current law reflect: a Religious or moral objections to gambling? b A permissive approach which also seeks to address the social consequences of gambling? and c The promotion of gambling as an 'export' industry?

The legislative and regulatory provisions that govern gambling in Spain vary depending on whether the activity is: offered online at the federal level; or land-based or online offered only within one or several regions in Spain. What powers do they have?

Clear examples of this trend include: the new regulation on gambling advertising applicable to online operators licensed at the federal level one of the most restrictive in Europe ; further restrictive regulations on advertising approved at the regional level; and the suspension of new authorisations for land-based gambling premises by a significant number of autonomous regions and regulators.

Alla Serebrianskaia. Santiago Asensi. ARTICLE TAGS. POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment from Spain.

The New Digital Services Act Is Here — Are You Ready? Gowling WLG. The new Digital Services Act DSA came into force on 17 February The aim of the DSA the Act , as covered in our earlier article Fall In Customer Engagement May Put Leisure And Hospitality Reputations At Risk WTW.

Each region has its own regulation for each type of premises licensing: casinos, gaming halls, bingos and betting shops. Therefore, the requirements for licensing depend on the premises and the autonomous region in question. Also, in some cases, casino premises for example, licensing is subject to a public tender process.

Notwithstanding the above-mentioned regional variation, in general terms the requested documentation aims to prove the legal, technical and economic solvency of the applicant. The main requirements and differences that can be identified are as follows:.

The land-based gambling sector is still implementing certain changes, with the aim of reinforcing the protection of vulnerable individuals and tightening the regulation of gambling advertising.

The main changes in this regard are as follows. This positioned the Balearic Island at the forefront of regions pioneering measures to combat gambling addiction.

With the application of the new Balearic regulations, slot machines will cease to emit lights or sounds, remain dormant when not in use, and incorporate a start-up screen that will ask the user about their legal age and warn them about the potential risks of addiction associated with the game.

Included among the significant changes in this new regulation is a provision requiring a minimum distance of metres between gaming establishments and educational centres, as well as the prohibition on cash withdrawals from point of sales terminals with credit cards within the premises of gaming establishments.

On 4 July , a new Gambling Law was issued in Galicia. This law dictates that leisure and dining venues, which do not primarily serve as gaming establishments, are now limited to two recreational machines each.

Bars are permitted to host type A special slot machines and type B betting machines. Bingo halls can additionally include type B special machines, whereas casinos are allowed type C machines, which are entirely based on chance and offer larger prizes.

In response to public concerns, the law has changed the distance regulations between gaming establishments and educational centres. The required distance has been increased from metres to Notwithstanding this, it should be noted that existing gaming establishments are given a year grace period to comply, but must adhere to the new distance if relocating.

Valencia, for example, mandates a metre separation between gaming halls, and an metre gap between these and educational centres. Andalusia requires a smaller, metre distance, while Barcelona enforces a larger metre one.

Recently, the Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community TSJCV submitted a consultation to the Court of Justice of the European Union CJEU , to evaluate whether the stipulated distances in Valencia metres between gaming halls and metres from educational centres to gaming halls possibly unfairly disadvantage private companies, and whether they comply with the principles of freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services, as defined by the European Union.

The implications are profound, with four appeals lodged by gaming sector business associations against these measures held in suspension. As a consequence of the approval of the Royal Decree on commercial communications for online gambling activities at a federal level in , most of the regions in Spain announced their intention to proceed with the adaptation of their regulations to that Royal Decree.

Valencia is the region with the most restrictive regulation on gambling advertising and, as a result, any type of gambling advertising or promotional activity has been prohibited.

Spanish gambling regulation does not distinguish between B2C and B2B licences, nor between the law applicable to the operations of one operator and another.

Entities that meet the above requirements and also manage gaming platforms in which they are members, or that other gaming operators join, pooling together stakes coming from their respective users, will be considered as gaming operators and gaming co-organisers.

If a B2B operator meets the requirements established by the regulation, it is subject to licensing and, technically speaking, will be considered a gaming operator. Consequently, the inclusion of a B2B operator within the definition of a gaming operator, and its requirement to be licensed, depends on the services that said operator intends to provide within Spain, along with the conditions related to that service.

Affiliates do not need to hold a licence in Spain as long as they do not register clients or maintain an agreement or gaming account with them.

The new regulation on advertising establishes a new requirement by which an operator is prohibited from using brands or trade names that are not owned by said operator or by the business group to which such operator belongs, to identify and differentiate itself from other operators.

Consequently, it may also be subject to licensing. Central to these adjustments is an array of notifications which operators are obligated to supply at specific intervals — for example, when certain predetermined thresholds or events are reached.

The key objective is to ensure that participants have access to the necessary information to formulate educated judgements ahead of time and allow them to rectify their behaviour. Additional noteworthy amendments include prohibitions placed on the aforementioned groups of participants, ranging from a ban on using credit cards to the prohibition of accessing VIP schemes and a restriction on receiving commercial communications.

The proposed modification is designed to establish a financial restriction on the cumulative deposits that an individual participant can submit across all gaming accounts associated with any of their user registries held with licenced gambling operators.

This proposal aims to enhance the protection provided to participants holding gaming accounts with multiple operators. Thus, the DGOJ will use this opportunity to revise Annex I of the Royal Decree, particularly regarding the amounts and legal form of the establishment of guarantees by gambling operators.

The period for public consultation, allowing the public to participate by offering suggestions, concluded on 16 October Draft Resolution Approving the New Data Model and Modifying Annexes I of Two Resolutions. On 7 July , the DGOJ initiated a public consultation period on the draft Resolution approving the new Data Model and modifying Annexes I:.

The purpose of these modifications is to adapt the existing Resolutions to recent regulatory changes, most notably, the Royal Decree on Gambling Advertising and Responsible Gambling, which have imposed additional obligations onto operators which could be monitored by the DGOJ, through the introduction of the necessary changes to the data model of the monitoring system.

The consultation, in which the public could participate with suggestions or concerns, concluded on 7 September On 27 April , the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the draft law regulating customer services, the main objective of which is to alleviate the deficiencies detected in the provision of this type of service by large companies and to better safeguard consumer rights.

The draft law arises from numerous consumer complaints centred around inefficient customer service, typically within larger entities. This regulation, also foresees the possibility that small and medium-sized companies and financially struggling companies will not be affected by the regulation, as they are not the main generators of these complaints.

Notably, some online gambling operators, determined by annual income, may fall under this regulation. The draft law encourages consumer rights and establishes base-line quality standards for customer services across sectors including utility providers, transportation, postal services, conditional access to audiovisual media and electronic communications services.

Companies are expected to maintain satisfactory services to inform, handle, and resolve customer complaints. The regulation does not contain specific technical measures to protect consumers from unlicensed operators.

However, the DGOJ is entitled to request that internet service providers and financial entities adopt blocking measures within sanctioning procedures initiated against illegal operators. In this sense, blocking access from Spanish IP addresses and payment-blocking are the most common measures.

Indeed, the DGOJ has committed to continue intensifying the existing policy of domain name system DNS -blocking and monitoring payment traffic to identify the main black-market operators targeting the Spanish market. Somewhat related to the above, the most recent modification of the Spanish Gambling Act incorporated the following new types of infractions:.

The gambling sector is fully committed to the detection of participation in gambling activities by minors and vulnerable groups.

The aim of the responsible gambling requirements is to prevent and correct the negative effects of gambling through the application of different measures. Most of the responsible gaming requirements are compulsory for online operators. The requirements for land-based operators vary by region and premises, and some land-based operators apply additional responsible gambling measures in their businesses, at their own initiative.

Key requirements include the prohibition of loans to players, the need to provide clear and accurate information to participants, accessible customer service for player complaints, and the facilitation of a customer support hotline by online operators at the federal level.

Operators are also obliged to inform players about the General Register of Gambling Access Bans RGIAJ and offer self-exclusion options. Responsible gambling tests are also mandatory to detect potential gambling issues. As explained in 6. The regulation includes the introduction of two new subcategories within the existing grouping of vulnerable participants.

The first of these subgroups includes young participants below the age of As it pertains to young participants, net weekly losses for intensive players are those that equal or surpass EUR for three successive weeks.

Other distinctive constraints introduced by the DGOJ for these vulnerable groups include a credit card usage ban for intensive players and those exhibiting risky behaviour; barring access to VIP schemes for younger and risky players and limiting the extent of commercial communication for this latter group.

This concern is expressed in the implementation of measures such as the amplification of mandatory messages that operators must send to users under various circumstances.

For instance, their classification as part of a vulnerable group, information on their gambling patterns, and in-session games allow users to maintain a thorough understanding of their gambling habits, time spent playing, and money expended.

This is a deviation from the previous regime, which applied these limits solely to slot games. As detailed throughout 7. Responsible Gambling RG , Also Known as Safer Gambling SG , the Spanish authorities have created different tools for operators and citizens in order to promote responsible gambling.

Through an inscription in the RGIAJ, an individual is fully prohibited from accessing gambling activity applicable to online and land-based gambling. The register is formed of the data of citizens that voluntarily do not wish to exercise their rights to gamble and of those that are declared incapacitated by a legal ruling.

The DGOJ offers online operators a tool to proceed with the ID verification of their customers resident in Spain.

Operators can also check whether the customer is registered with the RGIAJ with this tool, and whether the data provided by the customer corresponds to a minor or to individuals included in the Civil Registry as deceased. The DGOJ has launched a service addressed to all citizens in order for the operator to detect and communicate an attempt of activation of a user registration when the identity data provided matches the data of an individual who is registered with this service.

No specific AML guidance relevant to the gambling sector is available in Spain, nor has anything been published in this regard by the DGOJ or the Executive Service of the Commission for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Monetary Offences SEPBLAC.

The Spanish AML regulation establishes the instructions, proceedings and duties that online and land-based gambling operators need to apply for the prevention of money laundering.

Contrary to what happens, for instance, in the UK, in Spain there is no specific regulatory or supervisory agency for advertising. In spite of that, in the case of online gambling at the federal level, the DGOJ supervises compliance with the applicable advertising rules by the gambling operators and sanctions them if they breach those regulations.

For audiovisual communication service providers rendering services to gambling operators, the authority to launch proceedings and sanction lies not only with the DGOJ but also with the National Commission of Markets and Competence CNMC.

Gambling operators must be duly licensed by the regulator to advertise their products. According to Article 7. The same is true at regional level.

Any advertising third-party provider must confirm that its client gambling operator is duly licensed according to Article 7. Infringements in the Gambling Law fall into two categories:.

Both infractions are qualified as serious infractions and are therefore subject to fines of between EUR, and EUR1 million and to the suspension of activity in Spain for a maximum period of six months. Each autonomous region individually approves sanctions for regional land-based and online gambling.

The current legislation applicable to the advertising of gambling operators — and their products — is as follows:. The most important restriction is that gambling products can only be advertised by licensed operators. The present restrictions on gambling advertising aim to shield consumers.

The main principles include legality, honesty, identification, veracity, societal responsibility, responsible gaming, underage protection, especially enforcing restrictions during watershed hours.

Its regulation and requirements entered into force mostly throughout The most relevant restrictions implemented by this Decree applicable to the online gambling sector include:. Please note that social gaming products can generally be advertised without the restrictions applicable to gambling products.

In terms of advertising for online gambling regulated at the federal level, Articles 40 d and e of the Gambling Act state the relevant applicable infractions, which are subject to the same sanctions:.

Following its entry into force, the Royal Decree on commercial communications for gambling activities was challenged before the Spanish Supreme Court by key stakeholders such as the Spanish Association on Online Gambling Jdigital , the Information Media Association and the Football League.

This article, which governs the boundaries of gambling advertising, was compared to Article The Constitutional Court is set to scrutinise the legality of Article 7.

Despite the ongoing dispute, the decree remains binding. Acquisitions and changes of control are not subject to the prior approval of the regulator. However, it should always be taken into account that if, as a result of said acquisition, any of the conditions of the operator company that were disclosed to the regulator at the time of applying for the relevant licences were affected or changed for instance, the solvency of the group, the intercompany agreements for the provision of services or the directors of the operator company , then the operator company will not only have to notify the regulator of the change of control within one month from its completion but also file the documents evidencing any of those material changes that have taken place as a result of the acquisition.

Despite the fact that a change of control does not require the prior approval of the regulator, it is always advisable to contact the regulator before completing the change of control to ascertain any possible concerns it might have regarding the transaction. Regulatory bodies are legally allowed not only to impose economic sanctions but also to revoke or suspend licences.

Regulators could even suspend gambling licences or seize any assets or documents related to, and needed for, the licensed activity as a precautionary measure. Economic sanctions may be enforced through the exercise of the relevant guarantees submitted by the operators before the regulator to cover their liabilities and potential consequences that arise as a result of a breach of their obligations as operators.

If these guarantees are not enough to cover a certain liability, the sanctions imposed by the regulator could be enforced through common civil remedies the seizure of assets, goods, shares, deposits, etc. As mentioned in On 16 November , left-wing parties were elected again in Spain.

With this, a series of changes have taken place in the government, including changes in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, which is directly responsible for the DGOJ. First of all, it should be noted that Mr Alberto Garzón, until now Minister for Consumer Affairs, has been replaced by Mr Pablo Bustinduy.

The new Minister is known for having participated in the creation of the political party Podemos which espoused an extreme left-wing ideology and is now a sympathiser of the political party Sumar also a party of the far left.

Another notable change is the disappearance of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs itself and its integration within the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda Therefore, the DGOJ is now under the umbrella of the new Ministry of Social Rights, Consumer Affairs and Agenda For this new legislature, the programme of the Ministry foresees the approval of several laws, including the law on general contracting conditions and the law regulating customer services, which failed to be approved by the last legislature.

On this basis, no major changes are expected in the future of the Ministry and in terms of the gambling industry, as both the former and current Ministers have a similar political approach. Barring any surprises, the current regulator at the DGOJ, Mr Mikel Arana, will be replaced in the next few months.

The tax rate applicable to the land-based sector is approved by each regional regulation and therefore varies depending on the region. As an example, in the region of Madrid, the applicable taxes are as follows:. In addition, there are fixed rates that apply to operating betting terminals or automatic appliances that are suitable for the development of games.

On 16 November , left-wing parties were elected again. Following this, a series of changes have taken place in the Spanish government, including changes in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, which is directly responsible for the DGOJ.

First of all, it should be noted that Alberto Garzón, until now Minister for Consumer Affairs, has been replaced by Pablo Bustinduy. The new Minister is known for having participated in the creation of the staunchly left-wing political party Podemos and is now a sympathiser of the political party Sumar also of the extreme left.

Another notable change consists of the disappearance of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs itself and its integration within the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda For this new legislature, the programme of the Ministry foresees the approval of several laws, including the law on general contracting conditions and the law regulating customer services, which failed to be approved in the last legislature.

Barring any surprises, the current regulator at the DGOJ, Mikel Arana, will be replaced in the next few months. Avenida Jaime III, 1 Primera Planta Palma de Mallorca Islas Baleares Spain.

In recent years, Spain has witnessed a significant transformation of its gambling sector. What was once an attractive, competitive and — one could even say — exemplary industry, has undergone a fundamental shift, largely driven by the adoption of new regulatory restrictions by the government, pushed by populist and left-wing political parties.

The government has taken substantial measures to assert greater control over the gambling industry, primarily fuelled by concerns about the social and public health implications of excessive gambling. However, as this article will explore, the proposed solutions do not always align with the intended objectives and with the actual problem experienced by the market.

A particular focus will be the most recent regulatory development, namely the Royal Decree aimed at creating safer gaming environments and examining potential future implementations. Additionally, this article will explore the rising trend of fraudulent practices within the gambling sector, commending the remarkable efforts of Spanish organisations dedicated to combating these illicit activities and shedding light on their critical role in preserving the integrity of the industry.

In the ever-evolving landscape of gambling regulation and given the emerging challenges, the authors aim to provide insights into the current state of the Spanish gambling industry, assess the impact of recent regulatory changes, and offer a glimpse into what the future may hold for both operators and players in this dynamic sector.

The majority of the online gaming platforms the DGOJ identifies and sanctions for operating without a license are based in Curaçao. Curaçao is trying to change its ways and become a more respectable gaming license territory.

However, this will only alter its future regulatory panorama, not what may have already occurred. Public Gaming Magazine Issues Library Conferences SMART-TECH March , Company Financial Legal Legislation Lottery People Retail Sports Betting Technology Regulatory Jobs.

Regulatory Issues News. More Regulatory Issues News.

Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling Review Clear examples of this trend include: the new regulation on gambling advertising applicable to online operators licensed at the federal level one of the most restrictive in Europe ; further restrictive regulations on advertising approved at the regional level; and the suspension of new authorisations for land-based gambling premises by a significant number of autonomous regions and regulators. The following games have been regulated so far, and are therefore permitted to be offered at a federal level: pools on sports betting; fixed-odds sports betting; pools on horse racing; fixed-odds horse racing; other fixed-odds betting; exchange sports betting; exchange horse racing; other exchange betting games; contests; poker; bingo; roulette; complementary games; blackjack; baccarat; and slots. For all intents and purposes, documents filed in a physical office are just as valid as if filed online; the rest of the procedure is electronic, so applicants may be notified or check the status of their file at the online office. Major global operators have found it increasingly difficult to operate profitably within the confines of these strict limits. Despite the ongoing dispute, the decree remains binding.
Spanish Gambling Regulatory Authorities

Video

[Presentation] Consumer protection \u0026 online gambling: an overview of the regulations in EU countries

Author: Vizuru

4 thoughts on “Spanish Gambling Regulatory Authorities

  1. Sie haben ins Schwarze getroffen. Mir scheint es der gute Gedanke. Ich bin mit Ihnen einverstanden.

  2. Ich meine, dass Sie nicht recht sind. Ich biete es an, zu besprechen. Schreiben Sie mir in PM, wir werden umgehen.

  3. Ich meine, dass Sie sich irren. Ich kann die Position verteidigen. Schreiben Sie mir in PM, wir werden reden.

Leave a comment

Yours email will be published. Important fields a marked *

Design by ThemesDNA.com