Opposition Party PSOE Would Destroy Online Poker In Spain

Opposition Party PSOE Would Destroy Online Poker In SpainSpanish online gambling has gone through some rocky times since it issued its first online gambling licences on June 1st 2012, and last year online gambling revenues plunged by 20% from Q1 to Q3 2013.
In addition to economic woes and online gaming reaching a plateau in Spain, online poker is facing an existential threat from Spain’s opposition party, The Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), which only last November proposed that online poker players should have to pay tax on every winning hand they play without any tax deduction considerations for losing hands.
It would appear PSOE’s stance on online poker derives from its belief that the game encourages” an addictive behavior with undesirable social effects”, and so the party has stated that if it gained power in 2015 it would seek to introduce retrospective legislation to counter this perceived threat.
Continuing its intended assault on Spanish online poker, PSOE has now launched a fresh attack on the “Responsible Gaming Strategy” adopted in 2013, and said it would  like to see a host of other measures added to the mix, including the elimination of online poker bonuses and other incentive that would encourage people to play more online poker. Furthermore, active measures to limit the amount of time players spent online would be introduced, such as automatic disconnects after a period of time, pre-set spending limits, and tougher identification requirements.
If the state of Spanish online gaming was not sorry enough, especially with the country ring-fencing its player pool away from other European markets, the latest proposals could all but sound the death knell for Spanish online gambling for good.
Back in 2012, many leading gambling and poker businesses were prepared to pay substantial “retrospective” taxes in order to obtain operating licences, but now those same companies will be wondering whether the investment was a waste of time. Bwin.Party, for instance, paid €25.6 million in taxes to obtain its licence but currently averages only 100 registered cash game players over a 7-day period. Meanwhile, the Ongame Network and Paf.com already took the decision to cut their losses and pull out of the Spanish market last year.

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