Recently, French Investment firm Groupe Bernard Tapie has been in the news quite a bit. The main point of discussions is its purchase of Full Tilt Poker. While this has been big news for many months, the company is moving forward in other areas. Most notably, the group applied for a Spanish online gaming license. Doing so now will allow them to enter the market as it opens in early 2012.

With more than 60 companies applying for an online gambling license in Spain, one question comes up time and time again: why is Spain so hot right now?

To start, Spain will now have a segregated market much like Belgium, France, and Italy.

In Spain, gambling is a national pastime. In other words, gambling is more popular in this country than just about anywhere else in the world. Along with this, it is important to note that Spanish players spend nearly twice as much on gambling as those in the United Kingdom. This alone shows just how big the Spanish gaming market has become.

In addition to gambling in general, the online market has shown steady growth over the past few years. In 2010, the Spanish online gambling market showed profits of €315 million, an increase of 33% over 2009.

Gambling is a way of life in Spain. Players are willing to wager a lot of money, both online and off. By tapping into this ever growing market, major industry players such as Groupe Bernard Tapie can take profits and industry-reach to an all time high.

There are two potential issues standing in the way of Groupe Bernard Tapie. First off, the company’s application has to be approved. Secondly, they are required to repay in full all Spanish based Full Tilt Poker players before the service can operate once again.

What do you think about the Spanish market? Leave a comment below.

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