Twelve unlicensed gaming operators have received warnings from Spain’s gambling regulator to cease activities in the country or be subject to enforcement proceedings that carry a penalty of up to €50 million in fines.
The Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGoJ) has given the alleged offenders ten days in which to comply. Three of the dozen have ties to Betsson, 12bet and Gaming VC. The other nine are listed as UWin Poker, Media Entertainment, Globet International Sports, RM Royal Media Group NV, Tempo Gaming Ltd, DreamMakers Gaming Tech, Come On Europe Ltd, 10bet.com Ltd and Midasplayer Ltd.
The crackdown by Spain’s regulators is seen as necessary to keep players from accessing unlicensed sites that offer more products and pay no taxes, GamblingCompliance reported. Spain’s regulations apply to both operators and entities that advertise or profit from sites that fail to secure licensing.
The DGoJ targeted 80 illegal sites in October and roughly two-thirds have already ceased operating in the Spanish market.
“The closure of the websites of those operators who have not complied with regulations demonstrates the degree of seriousness and professionalism that we can find in the Spanish online gambling market, which is a clear indication that we are going in the right direction,” said Sacha Michaud, president of online gambling group Jdigital.
While many operators voluntarily pull out of Spain after receiving warnings, some were seemingly offended by the DGoJ warnings.
“We have no business whatsoever in Spain — we don’t target Spain or do anything in Spain,” said Betsson chief executive Magnus Silfverberg. “But we have a site in Spanish for the many people around the world who speak Spanish.” Betsson is prepared to remove Spanish language from its dot.com site, Silfverberg added.