Spainish Online Poker Prospects Looking Bleak

Spainish Online Poker Prospects Looking Bleak The newly regulated online poker market in Spain is due to start operations on June 1st, with many big name companies expected to receive their licences by the end of this month.
These companies include PokerStars, 888, Ladbrokes and, but their interests may now be threatened after a last minute demand made by the cash-strapped Spanish government requesting companies pay retrospective taxes on their Spanish operations dating back to 2008. The government’s request for 4 years back tax could likely deter large operators from the Spanish market as PokerStars’ bill alone could total €200 million, while would have to fork out around €60 million.
However, if they do bow out then smaller companies with lower tax liabilities, such as Ladbrokes and William Hill, may be in a better position to enter the market. Still, it is believed PokerStars may consider forking out the money in order to gain a virtual monopoly on the lucrative market.
Nevertheless, the way the Spanish government has handled the whole online poker regulation affair has already drawn criticism from many companies, who have had to endure months of delays while waiting for their online licences. Also, many online businesses have been deterred from applying on account of the huge 25% of operating profits demanded, including PKR, Paddy Power Poker, Unibet and Bodog. Now with the latest unusual request made by the Spanish government, the future of online poker in Spain is starting to look incredibly bleak.
In related news, Bwin has been sponsoring la liga champions Real Madrid since 2007/2008 to the tune of €23 million per year but that deal may now be in jeopardy after Bwin was successfully found guilty of unfair competition inside the law courts. As the finding concluded:
“..any offering of gaming or betting activity that has not been granted a prior administrative authorisation is, indisputably, prohibited.”

Other news:   Multi-state online poker compact bill introduced in Pennsylvania

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