Sports betting has been rising in popularity in Spain over the last few years as the government has recently legalized it. The government is working on new legislation that will start opening Spanish betting sites run directly out of the country. However, for now, bettors from Spain can access some of the best foreign betting sites. Many of the top betting sites online cater to bettors from Spain and offer Spanish language support.
Betting Sites in Spain
There have not yet been any betting sites to open directly in the country of Spain, though the gambling laws allow bettors to access foreign betting sites. Spain even has professional sports teams sponsored by betting sites, so bettors never have to worry about having their connection to a foreign site blocked. As Spain uses the Euro as its official currency, there are many sites available to Spanish betting bettors where bettors can wager using Euros.
The best Spain betting sites have options and features that are relevant to the needs of Spanish bettors. These sites offer Spanish language web pages, customer support and software. The best betting sites for bettors in Spain will offer Spanish deposit methods as well. This also includes providing sports that are of interest to bettors in Spain, such as Spanish Primera football league games.
Attributes of the Best Spain Betting Sites
Although several betting sites cater to bettors from Spain, not every one offers a quality betting experience. To find the best Spain betting sites, there are a few key attributes to look out for. The number one factor that goes into making a good betting site is state of the art security and customer support. A variety of deposit and withdrawal methods are another quality to look for. The best Spain betting sites offer free bonus money and promotional incentives to reward bettors for their loyalty.
Although Spain has no online betting sites, Spanish bettors may freely access foreign betting rooms. The best betting rooms for bettors from Spain offer Spanish language options for software, support and deposit methods. These sites are also known for having the best security and bonus offers available online.
Spain has a long gambling history, but it wasn’t until 2011 that the government formally addressed online betting. That year, lawmakers drafted Gaming Law 13/2011 – also known as the Spanish Gambling Act. The bill was signed in 2011 and went into effect the following year.
The act made nearly all forms of online betting legal for both citizens and licensed operators. This includes sports betting, bingo, online casino games, poker, horse racing betting, betting exchanges and parimutuel wagering. Today, only the national lottery remains controlled by the state-owned monopoly. Everything else is fair game for betting websites provided they are properly licensed by the Spanish government.
For individual players like you and I, the legal environment is simple. We can play online with licensed operators and have access to nearly every form of gambling. The Spanish Gambling Act does prohibit citizens from playing at unlicensed operators, but that is not a major concern; there are plenty of legal options operating in Spain right now.
Rules for Spanish Betting Sites
Operators who wish to offer real money casino games and bets are required to obtain a license and host their websites on .es domains. One easy way to determine whether or not a site is properly licensed is to simply note the URL of the website. If it ends in .es, chances are it has a Spanish gambling license. You can also search for licensed betting sites on this page.
Betting sites licensed in Spain must adhere to a strict and complex set of regulations. In writing the act, lawmakers considered almost everything from payout rates to taxes to advertising standards. Operators who fail to adhere to regulations face severe penalties and steep fines.
The Spanish Gaming Commission is tasked with overseeing the entire online betting industry and monitoring licensees. The commission is responsible for receiving applications for prospective licensees, issuing licenses, monitoring licensees, issuing punishments for violations and keeping records of all online gaming activities in Spain.
Operators are taxed at varying tax rates ranging from 10% to 25% depending on the activity. Prospective operators originally balked at the complicated licensed process and high tax rates, but many of nonetheless decided to push forward. The Spanish gambling market is huge (even larger than in the UK) and too lucrative to ignore.
Spanish law provides severe consequences for betting websites that fail to abide by the law. Unlicensed operators face financial penalties as high as €50 million plus a four-year ban and internet censorship. The government also reserves the right to block access to payment methods that process financial transactions for illegal betting sites.
Online Sports Betting and Horse Racing in Spain
The 2011 Gambling Act provides considerable leeway in the operation of online sports betting and horse racing betting. Licensed operators are permitted to host traditional fixed-odds bets as well as parimutuel wagers and exchange-style betting.
Spain is unique in that it does not maintain a separate licensing or regulatory regime for horse racing. Every form of gambling except the national lottery falls under the purview of the Gaming Commission.
The legality of live in-play betting is contested at the moment. The Gambling Act failed to address live betting and that has left the activity in a sort of legal purgatory. However, major sports betting sites offer live betting for all customers. For example, 888Sport has a section devoted entirely to “apuestas en vivo” placed prominently on its registered .es domain. Spanish authorities appear to have no problem with in-play betting despite its questionable legal status.