Bodog Exits Spanish Poker MarketMarch 22, 2012 4:05 pm
Bodog has become the latest casualty of Spain’s imminent online regulated gaming market, and has been ordered to withdraw its business from the country. Consequently, Bodog has now sent an e-mail to its affected players, explaining:
“We would like to inform you that due to recent regulatory changes, we are no longer able to offer our betting or wagering services to residents of Spain or Spanish territories. Your account will be disabled on the 31st of March 2012 and as of today; you are no longer able to make any further deposits to your account.”
Ahead of this spring’s regulation, Spain has set June as the cut-off date for gaming companies to stop serving Spanish customers paving the way for only licenced sites to then operate legally inside the country. In the meantime, Spain has been cleaning shop with another casualty being Sportingbet, whose online gaming sites Miapuesta.com and Miapuesta.es were shut down in March, after a Spanish court ruled that “any offering of gaming or betting activity that has not been granted a prior administrative authorisation is indisputably prohibited.”
Thus far, Spain has already received around 60 gaming licence applications from top tier operators, including Betfair, Ladbrokes, bwin.party, Paddy Power, 888, and Bet365. However, in the meantime, Spanish authorities have come under criticm by gaming companies for the slow pace of granting its licences, with delays of six months being blamed on the inefficiencies of regulators, as well as other bureaucratic red tape. All the while, Spanish run gaming sites have been enjoying a lucrative period of competition free business.
Currently, Spain’s gaming market is worth around €400 million, but analysts are predicting that after regulation that figure could double, which would make it the third largest in Europe.