Category Archive: Spain

Spain: Two months left to apply for online gambling licenses

 

Authors: Elisa Lorenzo / Paula Gonzalez de Castejón

 

As announced in our previous entry in this blog, on December 2017 a resolution launching the call for tender for obtaining new general licenses for exploiting gambling activities in Spain was published on the Spanish Official Gazette. This means that the Spanish online gambling market opened to new entrants.

Nonetheless, the Spanish market will close shortly, as the deadline for submitting the corresponding applications will be 17 December 2018, and it is still uncertain when a new call for tender – allowing interested operators to enter into the Spanish market – will be launched. During this application process, the Spanish gambling regulator (the Spanish General Directorate for Gambling Affairs, the “DGOJ”) has published the gambling data for the year 2017. The figures, available here show once again that the Spanish market is a highly attractive market, which still offers relevant opportunities to operators interested in entering into this market. Those figures reveal that the total amounts bet by participants in 2017 have exceeded €2,000 million, and that, in terms of Gross Gaming Revenue, the Spanish gambling sector has increased in €560 million during 2017, which implies a 30.9% of increase from 2016.

Not only the Spanish gambling market has increased in terms of participation and GGR, it has also evolved significantly from a regulatory perspective since 2011. The Spanish gambling regulations have been amended by the Spanish regulator in the last years to permit licensed operators offering new game variants. Within 2018 it is expected that new regulations will be approved. Those new regulations will cover both the introduction of new modalities for existing games as well as of brand new games.

Therefore, it seems to be a suitable moment to think about entering into the Spanish market.

We will keep you updated on new regulatory developments in the Spanish Gambling Sector.

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Spain: International liquidity for Poker finally approved

On 29 December 2017, the General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling Activities (Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego – the “DGOJ”) announced on its website the signature by the General Director of the DGOJ of the Resolution by which the liquidity sharing between licensed online poker operators is authorised (the “Resolution”).

Today, 15 January 2018, the Resolution has been published in the Spanish Official Gazette and, consequently, from now on gambling operators with a Singular License for poker will be entitled to offer tables and tournaments involving users from the jurisdictions that have signed the Agreement concerning online poker liquidity sharing signed in Rome on 6 July 2017, under the terms established by such jurisdictions.

Following France’s steps, Spain is finally allowing the liquidity sharing between licensed online poker operators. This is certainly a very attractive opportunity for gambling operators who actually offer or who, in the light of the new call for tender, want to offer poker in Spain. On top of this, we will have to wait until the effective implementation of the liquidity sharing in order to see if this scenario could be extended to other online games.

SPAIN: Re-opening of the market

On Saturday it has been published in the Spanish Official Gazette the resolution launching the call for tender for obtaining new general licenses for exploiting gambling activities in Spain. Singular and general licenses can be applied simultaneously.

As anticipated in a previous blog entry, this means that within the next one (1) year, interested parties can apply for obtaining new general licenses. Consequently, the deadline for submitting the corresponding applications will be 17 December 2018.

Once the licenses applications have been filed, the DGOJ will have a maximum time period of 6 months to review the applications and if applicable, issue the resolution granting the licenses on a provisional basis. Once the licenses have been granted on a provisional basis, operators will be allowed to go live.

Spain: new developments on gambling advertisement

Following the announcement of the publication of the draft Royal Decree regulating gambling advertising activities, we hereby highlight some of the main developments therein included:

1) Commercial communications related to bingo may be offered outside the allocated slot times established in Law 7/2010 of General Audiovisual Communications provided that (i) such commercial communications exclusively refer to bingo, (ii) the website’ URL published in the commercial communications exclusively has information related to bingo, and (iii) the operator platform duly separates the access to bingo from the access to other gambling games.

2) Commercial communications must include (i) a warning message stating that minors cannot participate in gambling activities and (ii) a warning message promoting responsible gaming. These warnings shall be displayed in the following way: (a) in case of commercial communications displayed through static means, these warnings shall be clearly visible; (b) in case of commercial communications displayed through dynamic or audio-visual means, these warnings shall appear at the end of the commercial communication for at least two seconds and shall ensure the proper perception of the message; and (c) in case of commercial communications displayed through radio media services, these warnings shall appear on at least one out of three commercial communications carried out successively by the same operator.

3) Social networks shall make available to its users filtering mechanisms allowing them to prevent receiving gambling commercial communications. In addition, these commercial communications may not be published through or addressed to profiles corresponding to minors.

4) The participation of well-known public figures on commercial communications is prohibited if their participation can be extremely attractive to minors. Apart from that specific scenario, well-known public figures may participate in commercial communications as long as such figure meets the requirements of sending a warning message promoting responsible gaming and stating that minors cannot participate in gambling activities.

It shall be noted that this preliminary draft Royal Decree is still subject to the public consultation stage, in consequence, the DGOJ invites all interested parties to make their contributions via e-mail dgoj.sgregulacion@minhafp.es, with the deadline for receipt of contributions being 12 January 2018.

Spain: New draft Royal Decree on gambling advertising

The DGOJ has just published a new draft version of the Royal Decree regulating gambling advertisement activities. Two years ago another draft was published but it was finally not passed due to certain changes on the Spanish authorities.

This new preliminary draft, even though is still subject to the public consultation stage, aims to ensure an adequate level of protection for gambling consumers, both in advertising and in gambling practices, as well as for other vulnerable groups like minors.

Within the public consultation phase that it has been opened now, the DGOJ invites all interested parties to make their contributions via e-mail dgoj.sgregulacion@minhafp.es, with the deadline for receipt of contributions being 12 January.

Announcement of re-opening of the Spanish online gambling market

As anticipated in a previous blog entrance dated on 12 September, the DGOJ has just published in its website the draft call for tender.

As a main difference from previous call for tenders, is seems that the time frame for operators to file their licenses applications will be of one (1) year from the publication of the call for tender in the Official Gazette (it has not been published yet) instead of one (1) month. Nonetheless, the maximum time frame for the the DGOJ to resolve on the granting of the licenses will remain the same, that is to say six (6) months from the date the application was submitted.

In this sense, the sooner a license application is submitted the sooner said license could be obtained and therefore the game operated. The rest of the applicable requirements are very similar to the ones applied during the previous two call for tenders. We will keep you updated on this process.

Possible re-opening of the Spanish online gambling market

The Spanish authorities could be considering publishing a new call for tender by the end of 2017.

Taking into account the following factors, the online gambling market could benefit soon from a new call for tender;

1.- Time elapsed since the previous license-call
The second call for tender was published on October 31, 2015. Therefore, it has been more than 18 months since the last call and therefore, interested parties were allowed to request the promotion of a new procedure for applying for online gambling licenses.

2.- Positive development of the Spanish online gambling market
The figures and statistics arising from the 1Q 2017 on the online gambling market in Spain.

3.- Interest showed by international operators in the Spanish online gambling market.
International operators have showed their interest in entering into the Spanish gambling market ensuring therefore the need of a re-opening of the market.

All of the above seems to indicate that we would be facing the third procedure for applying for Spanish online gambling licenses most likely by the end of 2017.

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Spain: 2016 Q2 Report now available

The Spanish General Directorate of Gaming (“DGOJ”) has published the 2Q Report analyzing the online gaming Spanish market covering the period April-June 2016 (“Report“).

The increase of the amounts played as well as the decrease of the Gross Gaming Revenue (meaning the amounts used for the game, deducting net bonuses and prizes satisfied by operators to participants) seems to be the most important conclusions of the Report. Regarding the number of players, the report concludes that there has been an increase of registered users. In connection with the amounts played in each type of game, the Report highlights its improvement in Betting and Casino while the amounts played in Bingo, Poker and Competitions have slightly decrease.

In any case, the total amount engaged in Betting continues to be the most important figure, followed by Casino, Poker, Bingo and Competitions.

Spain: the DGOJ publishes the 2015 Annual Report

The Spanish General Directorate for the Regulation of Gaming Activities (“DGOJ”) has just published through its website the 2015 Annual Report. This document summarizes the activity of the Spanish gambling market during 2015. Relevant information with regard to the development of the Spanish Market, sanctioning procedures, new licenses granted or draft advertising regulation is herein contained.

From the information contained in the 2015 Annual Report, the following information should be highlighted: (i) during 2015 the Spanish gambling market has grown by 11,57% compared to 2014; (ii) as a result of the re-opening of the Spanish online gambling market on 2014, 25 new general licenses were granted by the during 2015, as well as several singular licenses for the new categories of games regulated such as slots and exchange betting; (iii) the DGOJ launched new relevant projects such as the jugarBIEN.es website for the promotion of responsible gaming, and (iv) the draft Royal Decree regulating commercial communications and responsible gaming has been prepared, pending now to be passed by the Spanish Government.

Spain: 2016 Q1 Report now available

It has been published by the Spanish Gaming Authorities (Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego– “DGOJ the 1Q 2016 Report on the Development of Spanish Online Gaming Market, ( “2016 1st Quarterly Report”).

From the review of said report the following data shall be highlighted:

  • The amounts plays reach €2,661.83 million, being therefore increased by 9.56% over the last quarter of 2015 and 33.46% over the first quarter of 2015.
  • The Gross Gaming Revenue ( “GGR”) for the first quarter of 2016 amounted to €102.32 million, increasing 7.97% over the last quarter of 2015 and 32.15% over the first quarter of 2015.
  • The total amount of deposits during the quarter under review reached the figure of €271.17 million, which represents an increase of 12.02% over the last quarter of 2015, and 39.98% over the first quarter of 2015.
  • The total amount of withdrawals made by users reaches the figure of almost €171.54 million, increasing 8.90% over the previous quarter and 42.40% over the first quarter of 2015.
  • The amounts spend by operators in advertising during the first quarter of 2016 amounted to €32.71 million, representing an increase of 40.53% over the last quarter of 2015 and an increase of 46.06% over the first quarter of 2015.
  • The awards amounted to €2,559.51 million, increasing 9.62% over the previous quarter and 33.51% over the first quarter of 2015.

You can see the full text of the 1st Quarterly Report 2016 by clicking here.

Spain: The DGOJ publishes its 2015 Q4 Report

The Spanish General Directorate for the Regulation of Gaming Activities (“DGOJ”) has just published through its website the 2015 Q4 Report. This document summarizes the activity of the Spanish regulated online market during last quarter of 2015 (October-December). Relevant information with regard to the amounts played, number of participants or advertising issued is herein contained.

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Spain: online players’ profile

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Spain: the DGOJ publishes the 2014 Annual Report

The Spanish General Directorate for the Regulation of Gaming Activities (“DGOJ”) has just published through its website the 2014 Annual Report. This document summarizes the activity of the Spanish regulated online market during 2014. Relevant information with regards to the development of new regulations, sanctioning procedures, new licenses granted or advertising regulation is herein contained. We will be publishing a new post summarizing the most relevant issues contained in this document.

SPAIN: Results of the second call for tender

As already announced in our previous blog post, the General Directorate of Gaming (“DGOJ”) has post today (2 June 2015) a communication with information in connection with the results of the second call for tender and the granting of gambling licenses. In particular, the DGOJ has published a list with (i) the name of the provisional 10 new operators in the Spanish gambling market; and (ii) the name of 6 other operators which have provisionally obtained a general gambling license.

However, the DGOJ does not mention in its communication (i) the name of two of the operators which request was rejected for failing to meet any of the requirements; (ii) the applications that remain in process; and/ or (iii) the singular licenses provisionally granted under this second call for tender. In this sense, it is important to highlight that gambling operators can start from tomorrow, 3 June 2015,  offering games in connection with the provisionally licenses granted today, which will surely produce a reactivation of the Spanish gambling market.

SPAIN: New online gaming licenses granted today

The General Directorate of Gaming (“DGOJ”) has just granted today, 2 June 2015, the gambling licenses. The decision has been communicated to the gambling operators through an e-mail sent to the representative for notification purposes with a link to the DGOJ’s electronic site. Operators just have to log-in in their electronic accounts to know if the requested licenses have been granted.

As a result of this first call for tender, that took place in early June 2012, 53 operators were legally entitled to offer their games according to the new Spanish regulatory framework. We assume that the DGOJ will post more information in connection with the results of the second call for tender and the granting of gambling licenses but, until then, we will have to wait to have a picture of the present Spanish regulated market.

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