Spain Reveals €58m In Online Fines Issued Last Year

May 18, 2022
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The General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) in Spain has said it closed 13 online gambling sites and sanctioned another six in 2021, publishing the information publicly for the first time. The fines issued to the 19 companies totalled more than €58m.

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The General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) in Spain has said it closed 13 online gambling sites and sanctioned another six in 2021, publishing the information publicly for the first time. The fines issued to the 19 companies totalled more than €58m.

This marks the first time that the DGOJ has published such information online and made easily available to the public, which it explained in the press release as “an exercise in transparency that makes it possible to know which web domains have been sanctioned for serious or very serious infringements”.

Public access to final sanctioning resolutions online are a part of the stipulations in the latest amendment to the Gaming Regulation Law, which allows the notices to go online after involved parties have been notified.

All 19 resolutions are available to read on the DGOJ's website.

The 13 sites with infractions classified as “very serious” will be closed for two years and disqualified as operators. Of the 13, 11 were fined €5m. The remaining two companies were fined €1m each.

An additional six companies were penalised for infractions classified as “serious”. The total sum of fines for all six is more than €1m.

Of the 19 on the list, six were registered in Curaçao. The island nation is the home to nearly 40 percent of companies on the blocklists across 20 nations, although officials say work is underway to reform laws this year.

Four more on the list were registered in Cyprus, which as a country had the third largest blocklist contribution last year.

Among those sanctioned in the “serious” category is Spanish multinational Codere. The resolution lists various infractions, including players identified as minors using Codere’s platform to gamble.

The sanctions themselves were issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, which is headed by Alberto Garzon, an outspoken critic of the gambling industry.

A few weeks ago at a conference in Madrid he told the audience that gambling “involves risk and causes damage to the most vulnerable and youngest people". Instead of gambling, he suggested that young people enjoy board games to develop various skills.

Spain will shortly introduce a new royal decree that will, among other controls, prohibit “intensive players” from gambling with credit cards.

Players that lose more than €600 for three consecutive weeks with a single operator will be defined as intensive and receive warning messages about their play.

The decree is expected to be approved this summer, according to the DGOJ.

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