Gambling has been a favorite part-time entertainment activity for Spanish citizens. The state takes pride in its flourishing gambling sector, thanks to the accessibility to a myriad of both land-based and online casinos. As such, Spain is among the avid gambling countries worldwide. Read on to learn more about casinos in Spain.
Legalization of Online Gambling in Spain
Online gambling in Spain was legalized in 2011. But the first license was issued in 2012. Since then, the government has been issuing licenses to online casinos and betting sites for regulation. Nationwide, online casinos are regulated by the Directorate-General for Gambling Regulation. Also, there are many casinos licensed in other jurisdictions that allow players from Spain.
State authorities regulate gambling activities with a national scope or with online-based activities. Online casinos are therefore regulated by regional authorities and state authorities as well, but the extent of regional authority’s regulations is restricted. The regional authorities are limited to games offered to the specific region’s residents only. On the other hand, land-based casinos are fully regulated and controlled by the corresponding regional activities.
History of Online Casinos in Spain
A few years back, there existed no regulations of online casinos in Spain. The government then thought of how it would bring harmony to the gambling industry, and in 2002, it established the regulation and legalization of web-based gambling. Nine years later, the Spanish Gambling Act was introduced to create a framework for online gambling licensing and regulations. The law was introduced in 2011. But only came into effect in June 2012, and since then, over 70 casino operators have been licensed. Each year, casinos are introduced with tons of new casinos online 2022, and more are expected to come, thus creating a competitive market for operators.
Gambling licensing and regulation brought a sense of confidence to gamblers. Before the end of 2012, there were already over a million wagers within the online gambling market.
Despite the legalization of online gambling in Spain, exchange betting and online slots remained prohibited until the end of July 2014.
Note that online casino operators that want to register and license their sites are expected to get approval to create a web-based casino first. The casino will then be reviewed before the operators are granted licenses to offer the services.
The Gambling Act of Spain aims to harmonize the regulation of online casinos through national coordination and efficiency. The goal is to create more robust and consolidated gaming legislation that goes a long way to reduce scammers.
Gambling Taxation in Spain
In Spain, gambling winnings are taxable, meaning that if you win on a game, you are expected to pay a certain amount of the profits as tax. This applies if:
Your income from real estate or professional job is more than 22,000 euros per year with a single-payer or 12,000 per year with more than a single-payer, and the net returns of your gambling are more than 1,000 euros in the given year
If your returns from the gambling activities and other capital gains are higher than 1,600 per year, regardless of your real estate or work income
Note that the net profits of online gambling are equal to: the amount won, subtract the amount you spent to play plus the bonus or promotional money given to you by the casino operator. Again, the tax percentage depends on your income as follows;
- €12,450 or less: 19%
- Between €12,450 and €20,200: 24%
- Between €20,200 and €35,200: 30%
- Between €35,200 and €60,000:37%
- €60,000 and more: 45%
The taxation rules apply both to online and land-based casinos.
Why Online Casinos Are Winning
Online casinos are undoubtedly taking over the gambling world and show no signs of slowing down. Even with the continuous changes in the legislation, the government has remained pragmatic, and any changes made are relatively a light touch. This creates more room for operators to enjoy self-regulation and create rules that favour their players.
To attract players to their casino, operators have been offering incentives like bonuses and promotional money. They have also been going all out to provide a ton of games such as poker and slots to accommodate different players’ needs. Also, the fact that players can play online casino games from wherever and anytime makes them a more preferred choice.