First Spanish Licenses Six Weeks Away; Questions Still Remain on Player Pools
Licenses to operate online gaming in Spain will be granted in the first two weeks of April, according to a report today on Spanish community website poker-red.
The new online gaming regulations were first expected to come into affect on January 1, 2012, however the date was pushed back due to licensing delays. A moratorium, permitting unlicensed operators to continue serving Spanish players, was extended until June or when the first licenses are issued – whichever comes first.
There were reports earlier in the month that the regulations could come as soon as mid-March, although a report today, citing the Director General de Ordenación del Juego Enrique Alejo, now suggests they will come within the first half of April.
Certain questions still remain, including one of international liquidity. The latest drafts of the Spanish online gambling law suggest that the player pool must be separated from international pools, but that operators may permit non-Spanish residents from registering on “dot.es” poker rooms. However, there is still an open question as to how international players would be verified.
There is still no official list of applications published. It is thought that at least PokerStars and PartyPoker are already paying their dues and are ready to roll out their Spanish sites in January; reports speculate that more than forty or fifty other operators have applied.