The Spanish gambling watchdog (DGOJ) has launched a formal initiative addressed to the Minister of Finance and State Administration concerning the issue of new online gambling licences for the exploitation and commercialisation of online gambling activities in Spain.

Under Spain’s Gambling Regulation (Act 13/2011 of 27 May on gambling regulation) the number of licences to be granted by the DGOJ is, in principle, unlimited. However, the Gambling Regulation imposes an obligation to wait at least 18 months between any two licensing tenders. In this regard, the last tender took place at the end of 2014.

Once the 18-month period has elapsed, the DGOJ is still entitled to limit the granting of licences based on the protection of public interest and the prevention of gambling addiction. However, the DGOJ is recommending evaluating the opening of the market. This is at least in part influenced by the DGOJ having received two formal requests to reopen licensing submitted by two international entities, both currently unlicensed in Spain.

The DGOJ’s initiative is accompanied by a proposal on the terms of the tender which, if accepted by the Minister of Finance, will govern the procedure. The Minister of Finance now has three months (from 18 September) to accept the proposal. If accepted, the Ministerial Order calling for tenders will include the final terms governing the procedure.

The proposal introduces a one-year deadline for candidate operators to apply for a gambling licence from the opening of the procedure, a deadline substantially more generous than previous tenders.

Only entities which meet the requirements set out in the Gambling Regulation and the final terms of the tender will be eligible to obtain a gambling licence.

You may access the new DGOJ initiative here.