December 9, 2011 : Affiliates encouraged to promote to other Spanish speaking countries
 
Online gambling firm Unibet has announced, in an e-mail to affiliates, its withdrawal from the Spanish market in compliance with the country's new gambling legalization coming into force on January 1, 2012.
 
The company's Unibet and Maria brands will stop accepting gaming activity from Spanish residents as of December 20, 2011 but will still accept customers from other Spanish speaking countries, according to the communication.  Spanish customers who are not resident in Spain will be redirected to Unibet's Brazilian website as of December 14, 2011.
 
The announcement has generated wide-spread speculation with some observers claiming that Unibet has ceased activity in order to stand in line for a legitimate licence to operate in Spain and others that Unibet is not considering entering the market due to high taxes and restrictive conditions.
 
There had been no further announcement from Unibet clarifying its position when we went to press.