Update Report on Gaming Legislation in Spain, Germany and France By: Marko Tomic, Partner, Law Firm Anđelović, Siketić & Tomić d.o.o. Zagreb
Gambling in Spain is regulated under a Gambling Act which entered into force in 2011 and to this date underwent more than a few amendments with new ones in the horizon for 2021. Private operation of games other than lotteries (still a monopoly) was authorized upon implementation and development of the Gambling Act.
The Gambling Act defines four specific types of game of chance (lotteries, betting, raffles and contests) and one general category of ‘other games’ that serves as a catch-all for activities that fall under the general definition of gambling but not under any of the four specific games definitions.
The Gambling Act envisaged the formation of a new regulatory body, i.e. the National Gambling Commission (CNJ). However, the CNJ has yet to be formally set up and there are no expectations that this will happen in near future. Until this happens, Directorate General for Gambling Regulation (DGOJ) will continue to exercise regulatory powers in respect to organization of games of chance in Spain.
Regulation of games of chance differs between online gaming offered at the federal level and land-based gaming or online games that are offered at regional level. If a game is not regulated, it is not permitted. Bearing in mind that Spain has 17 autonomous regions which each have their own licensing regime it is safe to say that conflict between the authorities of different regions is quite common.
With respect to licensing, the Gambling Act envisions two types of licenses: (i) general licenses which may be granted for a 10-year period with the possibility for renewal for a subsequent 10- year period, except for cases in which the number of general licenses awarded is limited under the Gambling Act; and (ii) specific licenses for individual games (e.g. exchange betting) granted to operators holding a general license and which are granted to a one-to-five-year term with the possibility for renewal.
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