Spanish Online Gambling Regulation Moves AheadBy: Fabian Rictor, Monday November 14th 2011
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Spain will be the next European country to establish an online gambling regulatory framework. The target date is January 1, 2012 and things are now moving at a brisk pace. A major event was the Spanish Cabinet's approval of the decrees on online gambling licensing and technical requirements.
The Spanish online gambling trade association AEDAPI has expressed its satisfaction over the completion of this important administrative step. The doors are now open for online casino operators to apply for online gambling licenses. However, AEDAPI has tempered its praise with words of caution. It has pointed out that the attractiveness of the Spanish market has been lessened by the high 25% taxation on operator's net income and the temporary exclusion of some forms of gambling. Because of these issues the online gambling operators will find it difficult to be profitable in Spain. The AEDAPI statement says, "In this sense, we believe there is still much work to be done and many ways to improve gambling laws for the Spanish market."
Online gambling operators are also gearing up to meet this deadline. One of the first groups to make an announcement was Rank plc, which has been upbeat about the Spanish market for quite some time. Rank will launch its new Spanish online gambling site enRacha.com next year. This will offer a wide range of Spanish card games, online slots, skill games and casino and poker games.
The United Kingdom betting company Ladbrokes has announced its intent to enter the Spanish and Danish online gambling markets. Ladbrokes has announced an agreement with the Isle of Man based online casino software provider Microgaming for the latter's online casino and poker products. Ladbrokes' site for the Spanish market, LBApuestas, is ready to go live as soon as the license is received in January 2012. LBApuestas and the Danish site will offer a major suite of premium online casino titles from Microgaming's Flash and download casino clients. Ladbrokes will also be leasing Microgaming's online poker software, so that online gamblers in Spain and Denmark can enjoy a variety of poker cash games and tournaments.
Adam Greenblatt, director of corporate and strategic development at Ladbrokes, said, "We have a strong relationship with Microgaming and our players have always reacted well to their products; we are pleased to be working with them as we target new licenses in Spain and Denmark, markets familiar to Ladbrokes already." Andy Clucas, head of business development at Microgaming, said that once it receives a license, Ladbrokes will be able to offer the most competitive range of products.
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