The Spanish authorities have made up their minds to go tough on awarding licenses to online gambling platforms. But, they are choosing to do it by introducing last minute nasty surprises for gambling platform owners. Recently, the Spanish authorities suddenly asked the applicants to pay up back taxes for a period of four years if they wished to avail licenses! As a result, applicants had to cough up a huge sum of money without flinching if they wished to carry out their gaming operations in Spain. Whereas Bwin paid up almost €33 million, the amount designated for PokerStars was much higher. Earlier, applicants were inclined to believe that the back taxes would only be applicable from the June of 2011.
But, this was not all! There were more such unpleasant surprises in store for applicants on the 1st of June, which were just a few days before the licenses were slated to be issued. The Spanish Regulator went on to state that one of the primary prerequisites for obtaining a Spanish license would be that the operator would have to purge its player list bearing Spanish players and would have to begin afresh from a base of 0. This condition has been levied to ensure that all legally licensed online gambling operators are compelled to begin on an equal footing so that the advantages accrued during the course of the illegal gambling period aren’t carried forward.
Until now, the operators were operating in the Spanish domains with their .com addresses. Players having accounts on these sites would now have to be terminated before online gambling operators can restart their fresh sites with .es addresses. The players would be required to cash out the old addresses, open fresh accounts with the newly built sites, and make renewed deposits in order to play. In the process, players would also have to do away with their VIP tags as operators would not be allowed information transfer from the old sites to the fresh ones. Affiliates would also be affected because the existent links would have to be severed.
The Spanish regulatory authorities have specifically pointed out the operators would not be allowed to transition affiliates or players to the newly established portals they would be operating from. Tagging the accounts of the original affiliates would also not be allowed. These moves would be of huge benefit to the new operators who had not yet entered the online gambling market. Still, it could well prove to be irritating and inconvenient for Spanish players to register all over again. But, the opportunity can be utilized for reevaluating options and switching to fresh operators if necessary.
The Spanish gambling markets go live on the 5th of June. The operators with new licenses weren’t keen to go online on a weekend where technical support could be low and playing volume would he high because it might be difficult to attend to problems. Therefore, even though the licenses have been issued, there would be a delay of few days.