Spain Issues 53 Sanctions In First Half To Online Operators

November 23, 2022
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​​​​​​​Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs has announced that the General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling closed 21 gambling web platforms and levied more than €88m in fines in the first half of 2022.

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Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs has announced that the General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) closed 21 gambling web platforms and levied more than €88m in fines in the first half of 2022.

Fifty-three operators were sanctioned in total. Twenty-one of the 53 were classified as “very serious” infractions and resulted in the shuttering of their sites and licence disqualification for two years.

Of those 21 very serious sanctions, 17 faced fines between €4 and €5.1m.

The other 32 operators fell into the “serious” category of sanctions, including Betfair, 888,and Codere. The fines of all 32 together totalled just over €4m.

However, many of the operators listed as committing very serious infractions are licensed in jurisdictions such as Curaçao, and getting them to pay the fine will be difficult as they do not operate legally or have a physical presence in Spain.

For example, in the document sanctioning Ice Gambling NV, a Curaçao registered operator, the DGOJ listed the bank account and routing into which it should pay its €5m fine. Likewise, Edjowa Gaming, also licensed in Curaçao, received the same €5m fine. According to the documents, the fines were issued via email to redacted addresses.

Meanwhile, legally operating entities such as Codere will presumably pay their fines, as they have historically, or risk losing their right to operate.

Codere was fined €153,000 in total and 888 was fined €10,000, with the possibility of it being reduced to €6,000. Betfair appears to have escaped a monetary sanction, instead receiving a written warning.

Spain recently voted to amend its online gambling law (13/2011) at the end of October.

That reform includes the implementation of the Global Betting Market Investigation Service (SIGMA) to prevent the manipulation of sports competition and betting fraud. It also included further player protections for gaming participants.

The DGOJ had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

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