Thursday June 7, 2012 : SPANISH LICENSING STATUS (Update)
 
Licence breakdown and player safety
 
An advisory released by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior broke down the recent licence awards, while warning errant operators on the penalties they face if operating illegally in the new market.
 
Licence statistics include:
 
–     Issued 277 licences to 53 online gaming companies in total to date.
      –     91 general licences
      –     186 unique licences
 
–     3 general licences and 5 unique licence applications submitted by two companies are pending
 
–     2 licence applications have been denied.
 
–     Of the 186 unique licences:
 
      –     27 pertain to online poker
      –     26 to online bingo
      –     31 to online roulette
      –     19 to the point and bank
      –     28 to online blackjack
      –     7 for additional games
      –     8 to horse racing
      –     17 to sports betting
      –     4 to mutual horse racing
      –     1 to mutual sports betting
      –     9 to others.
 
–     Licencees comprise 50/50 experienced gaming operators (26) and new market entrants (27)
 
–     Members of the Spanish press hold a presence in the online gaming market.
 
The Ministry further clarified its position on those not operating within the gambit of the law saying they face penalties of up to Euro 50 Million and will have their websites shut down.
 
Finance Secretary of State, Michael Ferre, and the Director General of Game Planning, Enrique Alejo said while licences had been issued and operators were at liberty to provide services as of June 5, they had six months to ensure technical compliance and obtain systems approvals.
 
With the opening of the market, The General Planning Directorate General has launched a "Play Safe" campaign which will publicise licenced operators.  Punters are required to ensure that their chosen operator sports the "Play Safe" logo on their website.  Advertising too is permitted, with restrictions.  An official advertising Code of Conduct is expected to be finalised later this week.
 
Revenues associated with the newly legislated online gambling sector will be invested back into public funds and social activities.