The Spanish Government's draft bill on online gambling regulation has received a number of amendment proposals from interested parties that include political parties, trade associations and would-be Spanish market licensees.
The Spanish trade association AEDAPI notes that political groups have filed more than 200 amendments related to the Draft Gambling Regulation act but believes that most of the proposed amendments will contribute to drawing up a coherent regulatory framework that, if adopted, will help create a competitive legal framework for the Spanish online gaming industry that will also be attractive to operators.
AEDAPI noted some of the suggestions, which included:
Most political groups advocate a licensing system based on administrative licenses which would foster a competitive industry that remains attractive to operators rather than a system operated through a tender procedure.
Parliamentary groups have called for a reduced tax rate instead of the current 25% in order to set up an attractive market for foreign gambling operators and national capacity to compete with other European Union markets. These groups have noted that if the tax rate remains unchanged, it would be one of the highest tax rates in Europe in the industry.
There has been a show of willingness by some political parties to limit the privileges afforded to LAE and ONCE and to narrow the proposed lottery concept. The parties see this amendment as assisting market growth while ensuring an even playing field for all competitors.
Along with the good, other less favourable amendments have also been proposed by political groups PP and PNV, which include:
- Calls for a black period similar to the Danish attempt. A black period would mean applicants would be required to cease all operations over a set period of time leading up to the granting of a license as well as delete their databases and cease promotional activities such as sponsorships and advertising.
On this specific issue, AEDAPI argues that a blackout would encourage/force players to look for illegal/unlicenced operators. The association goes on to cite that it estimates 90% of Spanish operators are serious operators who undergo audits and in some cases are listed.
- The establishment of technological equipment and servers in Spanish territory. AEDAPI believes this would pose a significant obstacle to the establishment of European operators and would undermine the attractiveness of the Spanish market.
In closing, Sacha Michaud , President of AEDAPI commented: "The fact that a large number of amendments have been submitted by the different political groups on the one hand indicates that there is still much work to do but on the other, that we're going in the right direction to build a positive framework."
Source: InfoPowa News