A Court in Madrid ordered the preventive cessation of the gambling activity on the Internet betting web site miapuesta.com due to the lack of online gambling license. The decision is one of the first judgements concerning Internet gambling following the approval of the Gambling Act in Spain thus, it is significant because it was issued without a previous Hearing.
The claimant is also a company targeted to online gambling in Spain. In its request, it was reported that the web miapuesta.com violated the rules of the new Gambling Act that came into force in May 2011.
Specifically, the claimant sought an urgent preventive cessation of the aforementioned online gambling site because the owner apparently provided online gambling services from off-shores institutions which do not cooperate with the Spanish authorities. Likewise, the urgency was evidenced by the delay to achieve the appropriate translations of the documents to be notified to summon the owner of the betting web site.
Furthermore, it was alleged that the site operated under a .com domain and not under a .es domain.
Finally, it was alleged that the defendant did not possessed the appropriate license to operate in Spain.
The Gambling Act is in force for over a year and has established a licensing system to operate in Spain. The Act states that the licenses that might be granted in other countries shall not be considered valid in Spain.
Moreover, it requires a domain name .es to operate, even if the online gambling is exercised from a different country.
The applicant claimed the breach of advertising regulation in Spain, which establishes the obligation to achieve the corresponding specific license to be entitled to advertise gambling activities.
Finally, it was also claimed the violation of the law on personal data protection because the defendant collected personal data illegally.
The violations mentioned above also involved a violation of the rules of unfair competition.
The Court considered that due to both, the evidentiary breach of the aforementioned regulation as well as for the continuous activity performed, it should be applied the preventive measures upon the payment of a deposit of € 100,000.
The measures consisted on the cessation and prohibition of the online gambling activities. It also banned the advertising and processing of personal data of the defendant customers.
To implement such decision the Court ordered to Internet service providers registered in Spain the cessation of transmission and access to telecommunications networks.
It was also agreed to require to the credit or debit payment’s entities to put the payment transactions on hold.
In short, the decision is a remarkable setback for online betting companies that have been operating in Spain which were protected by the lack of regulation in our country until last year.