Spain Grants First Wave Of Online Gambling Licences

After months of delays including a last minute request for companies to pay years of retrospective taxes, the Spanish government has at last granted its first wave of online gambling licences.
Not surprisingly, despite around 60 operators having applied for a licence amongst the first companies receiving licences for the newly regulated market were, Sportingbet and 888 who forked out a combined €50 million ($61m) in back taxes at the end May.
Last week, Sportingbet paid €17.2m for the time it spent in the Spanish market between January 2009 and May 2012, while a few days later 888 also carried out a a self-assessment tax return and handed over €8.7 million to the Spanish government. Following the granting of its licence, 888 CEO Brian Mattingley, said:
“Spain is an important market for 888, accounting for 5% of our revenue in 2011. We believe that the future of the online gaming industry is in regulated, legitimate and safe online gaming environments, and we believe we have the right offering to gain significant market share.”
However, it was the world’s largest listed online gaming company which paid a whopping €33.6 million in back taxes for its Spanish operation between January 2009 and May 2011. Back in 2011, Spain accounted for 4% of’s revenues and now the company with a market capitalization of  £985.12 million is eagerly anticipating reentering the lucrative market come June 5th. Commenting on the good news, Co-Ceos Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger, stated:
“Our aim is to secure market-leading positions in all five products through leveraging the inherent strength of our two prime brands, PartyPoker and bwin, which has attained high consumer awareness through its sponsorship of Real Madrid, and also through a new, localized brand called Binguez.”
Since the news broke,Sportingbet shares are up 0.84% to 30p, shares are up 0.58% to 120.70p, while 888 shares are currently trading down 2.08% at 67.57p.

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

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