Prepare For Online Gaming Regulation in Spain
In three weeks, Spain will release a list of successful applicants to its newly formed regulated online gaming market. Currently, unlicensed operators are able to serve the country which is home to 46 million inhabitants. Online gaming operators without a chair when the music stops on June 1st will be required to cease their offerings to Spanish customers.
Operators in the regulated market will be required to use a “dot.es” domain for their Spanish customers and redirect all connections made to their site from within Spain to this site. In addition, online poker games in Spain will take place on a segregated network similar to the likes of Italy and France. It is currently unclear if residents of other countries will be able to access these games.
It is thought that approximately 50 operators have applied for a gaming license in Spain including notable market leaders Betfair, bet365, and Ladbrokes. Other popular gaming brands, including Bodog, Unibet, and Microgaming brands, appear to be out of contention after having exited the Spanish gaming market earlier this year. These exits are thought to be a response to the high taxes outlined in the Ley de Juego. All operators serving the Spanish market have been required to pay these taxes since the law was passed on May 29th of last year.
What Ley de Juego Means for Affiliates
The Spanish gambling market is huge. Spaniards spend roughly double each year on gambling than the UK despite having a quarter fewer residents. How can affiliates capitalize on the newly formed Spanish iGaming market? Here are some tips:
1. Comply. Details of the gaming law include wording about advertising. Affiliates must be careful not to link to or advertise for gaming operators who do not hold a license as this is prohibited. Be aware also that bingo failed to secure legal standing in the new law.
2. Anticipate advertising for big providers. The Ley de Juego places some intense demands on gaming providers. Most notably, licensed operators must have at least one permanent agent or representative within Spain. This caveat places a unique burden on smaller iGaming operators and may tend to filter them out of the market.
3. Hire Spanish translators. Being unable to speak Spanish is not a deal-breaker for catering to Spanish players. Thanks to the power of globalization, there are translators for hire. But be sure to get someone who understands your needs to cater to the Spanish market. Like the English spoken in Scotland and Louisiana, there is a world of difference between Spanish in Spain and other parts of the world where Spanish translators might be a little cheaper.
4. Promote brands Spaniards are familiar with. Spaniards convert better to online gaming brands they recognize and trust. Currently, bwin and bet-at-home have shirt sponsorship deals with clubs in La Liga which gives them a leg-up on brand familiarity.
5. Keep learning. Spanish iGaming expert Judd Muir gave a CAP webinar last October titled Spanish iGaming 101: How Affiliates Can Launch and Succeed in the Spanish Market. Access these and other resources to keep yourself well-positioned for success in the new Spanish market.