New law passes allowing sports betting in Andalusia
In Spain, the Andalusia Gambling Regulations have reportedly been approved by the Governing Council. The Regional Government expects the new gaming rules to raise about €1.65m a year in additional revenue, G3Newswire reports.
The Andalusia Gambling Regulations will reportedly apply to gaming activities that are conducted within the territorial scope of what is the most populated and the second largest territory of the autonomous communities in Spain. Online gaming, as well as land-based sports betting, will be affected by the new regulations. Additionally, Spanish online gaming rules, which were in effect as of 2011, will be supplemented by the new rules.
Until now, Andalusia was the only regional government that did not permit sports betting.
The text within the new regulations specify that, in addition to allowing online sports betting, specific gambling venues such as slot parlors, casinos, betting shops and bingo halls will be able to offer it as well. Sports betting, however, will not be allowed in non-gaming venues such as hotels and bars.
The local gaming market will also see a number of other major changes via the new regulations, including more rigid identity controls, age verification and player protection measures including but not limited to self-exclusion programs.
In Andalusia, gaming tax revenue from casinos, bingo and slot machines in 2015 reportedly stood at €1,735.24m. The state expects that the new regulations will result in the gaming tax revenue doubling. Last year, the revenue forecast for gambling taxes in the autonomous community reached €1.15m. That figure is reportedly expected to increase by as much as €2.8m in 2018 and as much as €5m the following year.
The hope is that the new rules will help the local gaming industry’s continued recovery from decreases in revenue experienced between 2010 and 2014 when revenues fell between 40 to 51 percent.
In September 2016 in Torremolinos, at the Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones de la Costa del Sol during the fifth edition of the Andalusia Gaming Conference, the Regional Government of Andalusia announced that sports betting in casinos, slot parlors, and bingo halls would be authorized. It was reportedly welcome news for local industry insiders who had been lobbying for a number of years for changes to local gaming rules.
It was also reportedly pointed out by the local gaming board that it is the preference of online operators with national licenses, that due to the lower tax rate, their licenses be granted by autonomous administrations. Currently, the tax rate after prizes/win is 10 percent on profit compared with the 25 percent tax imposed by state legislation.
G3newswire reports that the news was welcomed by Isabel Fernandez Rodríguez, the President of the National Association of Entrepreneurs of Gaming and Recreational Halls (ANESAR), who said the new law would result in the creation of additional jobs and more tax income would be generated for the state.