Spain on Track for Online Gambling

Government announcement quashes fears of delays in the issuing of online gambling licenses.

The June 1 2012 deadline for issuing Spanish online gambling licenses will be met by regulator Enrique Alejo, according to the government. They also confirmed that the licenses will be effective immediately on June 1 and that in-play betting will not be allowed.

The government's announcement is intended to quash rumors of a delay, which arose because of an extension of the April deadline, the number of applications and litigation from online gambling operators like Codere. Spanish operator Codere is one of several groups which have sought injunctions against the issuing of licenses to foreign companies such as Sportingbet.

888 Holdings CEO Brian Mattingley asserted that the Spanish regulator would not meet the deadline. However, despite the fact that over 59 applications were received, Mattingley said he was impressed by the openness of regulatory staff to suggestions.

Most of Europe's major online gambling operators have applied, and are conscious of increasing costs due to deadline extensions. In addition, the industry doubts the credibility of the Spanish government's reassurance.