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Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego – the Spanish Gambling Authority
The introduction of the Spanish Gaming Act in 2011 fundamentally reshaped the betting, online casino, and mobile gaming landscape in Spain. According to this law, the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) – or the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling – has an obligation to wait 18 months between each license, while the number of licenses it can issue remains unlimited – therefore a license can essentially only be issued every 18 months. The 2011 Spanish Gambling Act seeks to bring together the various regulations that were in place on online betting and gambling in the various regions of Spain. While communities retain the power to issue rules and guidelines on gambling, there is a set of clear regulations in place that all jurisprudence must strictly adhere to. For example, no minors under the age of 18 may be allowed access to any type of gambling venue, including bingo halls, slot machine casinos, or online casinos.
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More information about Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego – the Spanish Gambling Authority
If a company wants to license an online casino in Spain, the state gambling authority Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) (which is known in English as the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling) is responsible. Other EU licenses are not valid in the Spanish market. Therefore, foreign providers definitely have to acquire a Spanish license if they want to be active in Spain. After all, that has been going on for almost a decade.
On the website of the DGOJ, you can find a lot of content around gambling in Spain. In this way, not only the legal outlines but also the logs of various meetings of the authority can be found here. Much is accessible in English so that international providers can easily access the applications. The fees for a license in Spain are made up of different parts. The largest component is a fee for the inspection of the provider and the issuance of the actual license. This comes down to around €38,000. But various smaller fees might be added.
Anyone who has acquired a license for an online casino in Spain can keep it for a maximum of 10 years, but this must be revisited by the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego every two years. Incidentally, the Spanish government initially set taxes on gambling at a very high 25%. In the course of a revision of the law in 2018, however, this was reduced to 20%.
The usual regulations for the protection of players can also be found in Spain. For example, there is the possibility of self-exclusion. A lot of information, including a corresponding application, is available on the website for this purpose. An app for mobile phones is also available for download in order to protect the players in avoiding dangerous behavior. There is even an internet forum where affected players can exchange ideas. In 2019, an Advisory Committee for Responsible Gaming was also founded, which plans to develop further measures and support offers.
There is also a point of contact on the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego website. The regulator will mediate between the online casino and the player in the event of a conflict. Problems with illegal providers are excluded from this benefit. At this point, the reference to possible sanctions against online casinos is also interesting. The Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling has the opportunity to levy fines against operators if they violate any of the guidelines or laws. This doesn't necessarily only include player-related issues. The fines can range from €100,000 to €50 million. This ensures that responsible gambling and player protection are taking seriously by the casino operators.