EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA: SPAIN
NEW GAMBLING REGULATIONS IN SPAIN
Author: Gerhard Volz, Schiller Abogados
The Gambling Regulation Act 13/2011 (Ley 13/2011, de 27 de mayo, de regulación del juego) came into force in May 2011. The law creates for the first time a set of rules applicable to gambling activities developed via internet and other electronic media and regulates the modalities of various types of games at state level.
In particular, the Gambling Act will be applicable to lotteries and bets, sweepstakes and contests requiring a consideration and cross-border gambling activities. The Law also provides for advertising, promotional and sponsorship activities relating to gambling and betting.
Further, the law creates a new tax regime for gambling services and establishes licensing requirements for operators wishing to provide their services in Spain or to Spanish residents. Licenses granted in other states will not be recognized. Moreover, the law stipulates a number of safeguard clauses to protect minors and people with gambling addiction.
However, games and competitions (of leisure, pastime and recreation) that do not generate any profit or assessable economic value for the organizers, as well as random combinations for advertising and promotional purposes, are expressly excluded from its scope of application. To date, these types of promotions required prior notification to the Gaming Board with respect to the data of the organizer and the characteristics of the developed activity. With the entry into force of the new law this requirement was cancelled for activities with free participation and no surcharges or additional rates.
Currently the creation of the new authority - National Gambling Commission (Comisión Nacional de Juego) - is underway which will control all channels of gaming activities and thus also cover the new means of commercialization facilitated by the technological progress and implemented nowadays.