After months of delays the Spanish Gambling Commission is finally issuing gaming licenses to online gambling companies. According to published reports in the gaming media, licensed sites will be going live on .es sites as soon as Tuesday, June 5.
Who’s Got Spanish Gamblers
So far there’s been no official list of companies that were granted gaming licenses, but it’s known that 15 companies did get the nod. Some companies have confirmed their entry into the Spanish market and here’s the list as it stands today.
- bwin/Party Poker
- Sporting Bet (though they may not be approved for poker)
- Poker Haven
(It should be noted that some of these sites may be operating under Spanish names, not their flagship brands.)
Spanish companies expected to be receiving license include:
Brush up on Spanish gambling market basics – Check out Online Gambling Regulation in Spain.
Tuesday’s the Day
The opening of Spanish iGaming has had more delays than most operators would care to recall, but the latest one came from the gaming companies themselves.
Site operators were reluctant to launch on Saturday, the original opening date, because it fell on a weekend. Anyone who has ever launched new software knows that technical errors are inevitable and getting hold of key vendors on the weekend can be very challenging.
Last Minute Changes
In a move that surprised, and disappointed, many in the affiliate marketing world, Spanish gaming regulators announced that existing Spanish players cannot transition accounts to the new system. This not only means that players will lose VIP levels, affiliate partners will lose existing players.
Regulators also demanded that sites pay a retroactive tax going back four years and settle up back taxes before going live. Not surprisingly, the potential license holders paid the piper.
After so many delays, excitement surrounding the opening of the Spanish market has reached a fever pitch. The potential profits are so huge that companies were willing to jump through a lot of hoops to get a shot at the lucrative Iberian gambling market.
With the delays over, it will be interesting to see if Spain can live up to the hype.