Last month the government of Spain had released a draft proposal for regulation and licensing of online sports betting and other online gambling products. Though the online betting sites had welcomed the move to legalize online sports betting, they had severely criticized the proposal to tax online sports betting on turnover instead of net income. All European betting sites through their representatives like Remote Gambling Association and European Gambling and Betting Association had petitioned the Spanish government to rethink the issue.
Last week the Council of Ministers approved the final bill on regulation of online gambling, including sports betting. At first there were some apprehensions on whether the Spanish government had stuck to their original proposal of taxing online sports betting on turnover. But the Spanish Association of Internet Bettors (AEDAPI) has now revealed that the concerns voiced by the betting sites have been taken into account.
In the final version of the bill the government has done away with the controversial turnover tax. It has proposed a fixed tax rate of 25% on net income on sports betting. There are two exceptions however, which are horse race betting and pari-mutuel betting. Whereas the change to tax on net income from turnover tax has been welcomed by sports betting sites, one grievance has remained. The sports betting sites had wanted the tax rate to be 15% as is the case in the United Kingdom. They feel that 25% is far too high.
There are still quite a few stages to go before regulated online sports betting in Spain becomes a reality. The next stage is getting the bill through the Spanish Parliament. After that the bill will have to be passed by the Senate. Then the bill will go to the European Commission. The commission will examine the bill to ensure that it conforms to European Union policies. If there is a problem then the bill may have to go back to the drawing board. If not, then the final step in implementing the proposal will have to be taken by the Spanish Government.
A regulatory body designated as the Spanish Gaming Commission will be created. This commission will call for applications from betting sites and issue licenses after due diligence. It will also monitor operator compliance and supervise the advertising and sponsorship activities of the licensed sports betting sites.