Spain is one of the bigger countries of the European Union, with close to 50 million inhabitants, representing almost 10% of the EU population. The country joined the EU in 1986 and is situated in the Iberian Peninsula, occupying the most part of it, making a border with Portugal, France, and Andorra.
The capital is Madrid, being Spanish the official language, while the currency used is the Euro since 1999, giving an end to the peseta currency used until then. Apart from the continental territory Spain also has the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic, as well as two exclaves in Africa, Ceuta, and Melilla.
Gambling is not only legal in Spain, but also one of the favorite pastime, to the point that the country is considered to be one of the biggest gambling nations worldwide. The numbers speak for themselves: over 60 casinos, 7 racetracks, and more than 250.000 gambling machines active in the territory.
Due to the fact that Gambling is legal in Spain, the Spanish can enjoy these activities with no concerns of this kind. The only existing games until 1977 were the lotteries, but in this year games of skill were allowed, and in 1981 slots machines became legal too.
The legislation suffered changes over the years, and in 2012 the regulation for online operators came into effect. Previous regulation from 2006 made regional governments across Spain responsible for gambling, but in the case that gambling activities are located in more than one region, these are controlled directly by the State. Regional authorities are only responsible when the action happens in one single region.
Usually, these national activities happen online, as for example the national lotteries, while regional authorities are more focused on land-based casinos. The law that regulates all of this is the Gambling Act nº 13/2011, the biggest piece of legislation regarding gambling in the country.
The law focus on regulation not only of gambling activities, but also advertising, promotions, and sponsorship of gambling-related activities. There is secondary legislation that supports this main law, namely 1613/2011 and 1614/2011, gambling activities and regulatory regime respectively.
Online gambling regulations in Spain exist since 2002 when web-based gambling was legalized. The 2011 Gambling Act modernized the gambling scenario in Spain, creating the online gambling framework for those companies interested to operate in the country.
This 2011 law only came into effect in June 2012, but since then over 70 operators have been granted a license, and as a direct result of one million players were gambling online in Spain before the end of 2012. Statistics show the incredible number of 50% of users that are doing something online, are also doing online sports betting.
The regulation of online gambling is made on a national level, but regional authorities have a say too in a restricted manner, just in what concerns the online games offered to the residents of those specific regions.
In July 2014 also online slots and exchange betting become legal, giving even more gambling possibilities to the locals. The goal has been achieved by the Spanish authorities and the whole country as a complete regulatory framework that covers all forms of online gambling.
Gambling Online in Spain
Spanish players have a wide offer of sites, they can pick from over 170 sites that over gambling in Spanish and in English. Here are a few quality and safe suggestions.