SPANISH GAMBLING REFORM BILL MOVES TO SENATE
14th April, 2011 at 04:08:03
Many amendments at committee level on contentious bill, which includes changes to online gambling law.
The Spanish Congress, or lower house, has approved Spain's gambling reform bill, which includes extensive provisions for online gambling legalisation. The bill was substantially amended in debate through the Congress Finance Committee, it is understood, although full details were not available at press time.
The bill now moves to the Spanish Senate for further debate and voting, after which it will be submitted to the European Commission.
Industry observers have opined that the speed of the bill's passage thus far could result in its provisions being implemented, and the online gambling market in Spain opened up, before the end of 2011.
The legislation represents the first major overhaul of gambling law since the pastime was decriminalised in 1977, Nerja Today reports. It has been the subject of wide debate, especially from online gambling companies, which has motivated changes to the taxation proposals (see previous reports).
In addition to the traditional (land) forms of gambling, such as bingo and casinos, the new legislation covers internet and telephonic betting, areas that were previously unregulated at the national level.
A transitional period has been included in the legislation to allow companies to conform to the new law with regard to company status, sponsorship activities and advertising in the media. Many land and online gaming companies sponsor top football teams.
It is understood that there is also provision for Spanish football clubs to offer sports betting.
Amongst the changes that are being introduced is a requirement for companies involved in internet gambling in Spain to have a Spanish domain name to allow for easier supervision and control.
The new law also establishes mechanisms for the regulation and management of the sector to enhance legal security for both operators and consumers for different types of gaming as well as protecting minors and those who are legally prohibited from gambling.
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