– According to Article 7 of Law 10/2010 (the Spanish Anti-Money Laundering Act, approved by Royal Decree 304/2014, of 5th May), land-based casinos are required to verify the identity, residence, and age of players before entering the facility. (The minimum gambling age in Spain is 18 years.) In addition, casino employees must perpetually verify the identity of any player who a) buys chips worth £2,000 or more at once or in total b) request a check of his winning, requests to transfer funds, or requests a certificate of his winning. The dress code varies evidently per casino.
– In fact, the Spanish Anti-Money Laundering Act made online slots and pair-mutuel (or exchange) betting legal. The Act also discussed copyrights in gambling and thereby preventing the personal data of Spanish players.
– There is a restriction on regional online gambling that makes only tax residents of the region eligible to gamble on gambling websites licensed in the region.
– To operate a casino in Spain, aspiring operators must obtain a license for each game as there is no casino license. (For instance, with just poker license, the casino cannot offer other casino games.)
– General licenses are valid for a decade and can be renewed for the same timeframe. The validity period of single licenses is one to five years and similar for renewals. For an application, there are four fees: £10,000 per license, £2,500 per Gaming Registry entry of a license, £38,000 one-time fee for a certification regardless of the number of licenses applied for, and 0.075 percent annual fee based on the prior year’s revenues.
– Complementary or social games are quite popular in Spain. The maximum wagering amount is £1 while the maximum prize is £40.
– Land-based gambling activities are taxed according to regional tax collectors. Tax rates generally range from 10 to 45 percent and are based on the tax base (turnover or gross income) and GGR (gross gaming revenue). Tax rates of online gambling activities range from seven to 25 percent (mostly the latter) and are also based on the tax base and GGR.
– The website of Aecj Asociación Española de Casinos de Juego (the Spanish Association of Casinos and Gambling) presently lists 30+ casinos while the actual figure is nothing less than 60.
– In regards to advertising, regions define their respective policies. Meanwhile, advertising without permission is a criminal offence punishable under the law for land-based operators. Fines could be anything from £100,00 to £1 million and the authorities could temporarily ban such operator for at least six months. The same fine and ban policy go for online operators. However, online operators that are licensed by the Directorate or a regional regulatory body are permitted to advertise, market or conduct any sponsorship activity. Also, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), advertising agencies, gambling operators, and media institutions have registered with an autonomous Code of Conduct established by the Directorate so as to uniformly create a framework for regulated advertisements of online gambling services.
– Since 2012, Spanish players have been spending about €1.9 billion on gambling per year. This is equal to 15 percent of the income per household or almost €500 per person…and these figures grow year in, year out. Currently, an estimated figure of 30 percent of Spanish residents gambles frequently. Respectively from 2014 to 2016, the Spanish gambling industry generated revenues of €327 million, €368 million, and €409 million.
– The Extraordinary Christmas Lottery sells nothing less than €1.7 billion worth of tickets annually and about 70 percent is reportedly given back as cash prizes while the remaining 30 percent is used for charities and to fund the Catholic Church. The draw holds annually on exactly December 22.
– El Niño’s popularity and magnitude are only second to Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad’s. The lottery literally means The Body, with reference to Jesus Christ as a kid. El Niño annual draw takes place on January 5 of every year and is also provided by the LAE.
– Although of Danish descent, a Spanish nicknamed El Matador is the only player to have ever won-at the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker-the World Championship and the only Hispanic player to have ever won the World Series of Poker Main Event. His real name is Juan Carlos Mortensen.
– In 2017, the Extraordinary Christmas Lottery sold 165 million billetes (tickets) worth €3.3 billion and €2.3 billion were distributed as cash prizes. El Gordo was as huge as €720 million.
– Illegal gambling is a serious issue in Spain as it is believed that illegal gambling generates as much as legal gambling.
– Currently, there is a loophole in the gambling laws which makes it possible for Spanish players to gamble on unlicensed gambling websites without any penalty.
– The number of Spanish casinos was 42 in 2013, 43 in 2014, 43 in 2015, 45 in 2016, and is currently 60 as of March 2018.
– Ironically, El Gordo once landed in a small town called Sort, Catalan word for ‘luck’.
– In addition to the aforementioned games, cockfighting, dominoes, bullfighting, and card games are some of the most loved games in Spain. Particularly, bullfighting is a tradition in Spain, especially Madrid; the region features the largest bullfighting industry on the planet and the events are visited by thousands of people per year. Gambling on bullfighting is not permitted by law but small gambling facilities and illegal outlets usually offer fixed-odds betting on bullfighting events.
– Spanish gambling websites are required to use the .es domain name extension.
– Out of 60 casinos, Grupo Pro operates about 10 while Cirsa and Grupo Orenes individually operate about five.
– American casino company Las Vegas Sand Corporation is expected to open a 12-complexes casino in Spain in 2022 with inspirations from Las Vegas. Similarly, the BCN World in Tarragona, Catalonia will soon be transformed into an entertainment center (casino, golf, and hotel); the project was announced in 2012 but kick-started in 2017.
– In July 2013, Spain hosted the World Gaming Summit.
– Spanish poker players are only allowed to participate in regional, national, and international poker tournaments as they are not allowed to participate in offshore poker tournaments; this is the case in Italy and France as well.
– Pertaining Bitcoin gambling, the authorities (primarily El Ministerio de Hacienda y Administraciones Públicas), while responding to Coinffeine, a Spain-based P2P Bitcoin exchange platform, in 2014, classified Bitcoin gambling as online gambling so licenses are required prior offering their services. This was a surprise because most countries in and outside Europe either criminalize or are completely ignorant when it comes to cryptocurrencies. More interestingly, Spanish tax authorities recently announced their interest in collecting taxes on any kind of cryptocurrency mining within Spain.