Online Casino Espagna

Spanish players love to gamble. The relatively laid-back attitude of the Spanish for gambling sees large chunks of money wagered each year. In fact, authorities reckon as much as €1.9 billion is spent each year. Never one to miss an opportunity to bolster their coffers, the Spanish authorities weren’t going to let that pass without getting a slice of the pie for themselves. How does Spanish gambling law work and can you gamble at Espagna online casinos in Spain? Let’s find out…

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Gambling laws in Spain

The very first gambling laws didn’t appear in Spain until 2006. That year, sports betting was made legal online, although it would still be quite a while before online casinos would get the go ahead. In 2010, the Spanish Government officially announced the creation of an authority which would oversee Spanish online gambling, and a year later the Spanish Gambling Act followed, which made online poker, online bingo and casino gaming legal.

To cut a long story short, all forms of gambling are no legal in the Iberian country, although there are a few stipulations which operators must follow if they wish to be able to offer gameplay to Spaniards legally. For starters, they must be in possession of a gambling license from the state’s authorities. They are issued in 10-year increments. Moreover, the Spanish authorities require the operators to have a physical, land-based presence in the country, too. This has been overlooked once or twice and can be circumvented by simply having your servers located in the country.

Spanish online casinos

The Direccion General de Ordenacion del Juego licenses all online casinos which can operate in the country. Known in English as the General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling Activities (and DGO for short), they are an element of the Ministry of Taxes. As mentioned, operators must at least have their servers located in the country to obtain a license, and without a license, casinos cannot offer their services to Spanish players.

Spanish online casinos are subject to a 25% levy on all revenue made from Spanish players. Spanish online casinos will almost always display their license from the DGO, as they do not want to risk the penalties for not having one. Moreover, they will also offer gameplay in Spanish and with the euro currency. Spanish casinos will generally try to cater to Spanish casino players by offering banking methods and payment options that are more appealing to those players.

If you aren’t interested in playing at a Spanish casino, though, there are other routes you can take. One of the more popular ones is to play at an offshore online casino site. That means to say, a casino which is not licensed out of Spain.

Offshore Spanish casinos

Offshore online casinos are technically illegal in Spain, although the Spanish aren’t exactly working around the clock to cut them out of the market. Any online casino which doesn’t hold a Spanish gambling license can theoretically be added to a blacklist. Spain actively asks its ISPs (internet service providers) to blacklist such sites and prevent you from accessing them. However, this is relatively easy to get around with a good VPN.

The DGO does have the authority to punish operators who offer their services to Spanish players illegally, though. In some cases, there is a maximum fine of up to €50 million for any operator found guilty of accepting Spanish players without a DGO license. In practice, this is going to be a lot harder to get through the courts, and no operator has thus been fined this figure.

Even so, as you can imagine, this has scared off a lot of the big offshore Spanish casinos from offering their services to Spanish players. With that in mind, many of the offshore casinos you can choose to play tend to be more obscure names. This is not always a good thing since some of these casinos could very well be rogue casinos, or scam casinos.

We’d always advocate caution before signing up to any offshore Espagna casino sites in Spain.

About gambling in Spain

Does that mean that you should avoid offshore casinos entirely? Not really. The Spanish gambling authorities may have a hefty fine that they can implement on operators who offer Spanish gambling services without a license, but there isn’t a punishment for the individual player. This means that no matter which offshore casino you join, you will not be punished if Spain decides to throw the book at the operator. In effect, you can do as you wish.

Even if the DGO demands that its internet services providers throw up blocks to offshore casinos and geo-blocks you from accessing them, there are ways around it. For instance, the blocks from Spanish ISPs are particularly strong, so a simple VPN (virtual private network) will see you able to get around those blocks. This can be handy if you really wish to play at an offshore casino. Stats have shown that around 48% of Spanish players do play at offshore casinos, as opposed to playing at legal, licensed, Spanish casino sites.

Given the risk that you take when you play at an offshore Espagna casino, we advise Spanish players to do their homework. Always double check the offshore casino you are set to play at. Make sure that they are credible, and that they are regulated out of somewhere; preferably out of a well-respected licensing jurisdiction like Malta, Gibraltar or the United Kingdom.

Ultimately, it may just be safer for you to play at a Spanish casino, and we would always advocate that. There are a few good ones out there. Of course, if you can’t get access to the kinds of games you want, then it is good to know that the offshore casino option is, by and large, available to you, too.

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