Spanish gaming license applicants could hear word on their status in as little as two weeks, according to recent reports in Electronic Gaming Review. But the sudden resignation of Spanish gaming boss Juan Carlos Alfonso Rubio could throw a wrinkle in the process.
Good News First
Just last week, word leaked out of the halls of Spanish Government that as many as 80 percent of the companies that applied for gaming licenses had been approved. The roster of applicants includes most of the big names in iGaming including bwin.party, PokerStars and Ladbrokes. (Thought there’s no word if any of these companies are amongst the 80 percent that have been approved, it’s safe to assume that most, if not all of them, were. )
The licensing process has run into frequent delays and as recently as January it looked as if approvals would be at least six months away. No reason was given for the delays or the advances.
Potential Kink in the Plan
Before gaming companies start celebrating these positive developments another kink emerged when Rubio announced his resignation yesterday. Rubio has the final word on gaming licenses and there’s no indication as to how his decision would effect licensing approvals.
In an interview with CalvinAyre.com Sacha Michaud, the head of the Spanish gaming trade association expressed confidence that the licensing process would move forward unfettered.
“I would have thought that his departure would have slowed down the process slightly, but the new director of gaming Enrique Alejo is hugely experienced in the private and public sectors, so I have absolute confidence that he will manage the process expertly,” he said.
The road to gaming liberalization in Spain has been anything but easy for license applicants. Between frequent delays and regulatory hurdles, it must have seemed as though the process would never end. But, despite, Rubio’s resignation, it’s very possible that licensees could be approved and operational by the end of the year.
Recommended Reading: Online Gambling in Spain: Marketing Guide