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12 day window for Spanish internet gambling law

Interested parties intending to comment on the latest draft of the proposed new Spanish law on internet gambling will have to work quickly; having spent years discussing and drafting regulations, the Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (LAE), has given industry stakeholders just 12 days in which to comment, with much of that time taken up by the Easter holiday period.

The trade association AEDAPI informed its members Friday that the Senate Finance Committee had just approved without significant changes the new draft laws on gambling, which include provisions for internet gambling.

AEDAPI claimed that the committee met for ten minutes, and in that time unanimously approved the bill without changes to the draft approved by the Congress of Deputies, and the consultation window.

Reports indicate that some 269 amendments have been made to the various drafts as the proposal has progressed through a series of legislative stages, but there are still opposing views on some of the bill's provisions, and the debate in the full Spanish Senate next week is expected to be lively.

The draft bill provides for a transitional period for businesses to regulate their status and sponsorship activities (many large companies that offer Internet gambling equipment sponsor major league football in Spain) and advertising in the media.

In addition, all companies that use the Internet to offer gambling must use the ". es" domain suffix to strengthen supervision and control by the Spanish authorities. This will be the responsibility of the National Gambling Commission, which will be informed by a Gaming Policy Board comprised of representatives of the autonomous communities of Spain.

Mystery still surrounds the apparent exclusion of internet bingo from the liberalising draft, with speculation that this may be due to fears that the game is 'too addictive.'

The new regulatory framework will not affect the State Lotteries.

Observers predict that the law will be passed shortly after mid-2011, but there will be further delays after this as the detailed regulations and operator/licence requirements are formulated.

Source: InfoPowa News

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