Spain liberalises online gambling sector

In May, the Spanish government passed a law that will transform and liberalise most sectors of the country’s online gambling market starting at the beginning of 2012. For most of the global market (over 90% of the experts surveyed) the future relevance of the Spanish online gambling market is high. Therefore it comes as no surprise that nearly all operators (ca. 80% of the operators surveyed) are likely to apply for a license.

Yet, more and more operators are wondering whether licenses will eventually pay off financially, at least since the partly negative experiences in France. But Spain seems to be a different story as, for example, gambling taxes are significantly lower (mostly 25% of gross revenues). Therefore, nearly all of the experts surveyed believe that a Spanish license will pay off financially.

Martin Oelbermann, director of MECN and co-author of the study adds,

“Many operators lost a significant amount of money in the liberalised French market, so operators became more sceptical. They now analyse the financial effects of the tax rates and other key regulations (e.g., identification processes, …) even more closely. But the Spanish model seems to convince them and brings back a lot of optimism to the industry.”

The figures regarding the Spanish gambling market are impressive: total market size in 2010 of ca. €28 billion in turnover/wagers and €9.5 billion in gross revenues. The online gambling market (gross revenues) is estimated at €465 million in 2010 and is expected to grow to over €680 million by 2015 with betting and poker leading the way.

* The source of the data for this article is accessible here.

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