Online poker sites apply for new Spanish licenses

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Nov 16, 2011 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

On January 1st, 2012 Spain will join the likes of countries like France and Italy and create their own country-wide online poker network, and no less than 16 online poker sites have already begun the process of applying for a Spanish license (at an initial cost of €2 million) according to egrmagazine.com.

According to the article, the usual suspects have all filed for a Spanish license, including three of the largest online poker rooms/networks, PokerStars, 888 Poker, and bwin.party (you can find reviews of these rooms and many more at www.cardschat.com). Smaller operators may avoid the market due to the 25% tax that will be levied on all online poker rooms in Spain (not to mention the initial €2 million license fee) considering that Spain is not historically thought of as a poker hotspot.

A similar high-tax rate in France caused sites to jack-up the rake, which led to an online sit-in by French online poker players.

Interestingly, in a country that has quite favorable gambling laws for brick & mortar casinos, the new legislation does not permit casino games like slots or video poker, and also outlaws the very popular Spanish past-time of sports-betting –perhaps in an effort to protect existing brick & mortar providers of these services.

Two other European countries, Germany and Denmark, are in the midst of passing similar legislation: Germany will of course attract just about every online poker operator with their huge population base and with a German having won the 2011 World Series of Poker, the country is likely to experience a major poker boom.

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