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NEW SPANISH GAMING REGULATIONS
On the 5th of May the Spanish gaming counsil issued new regulations. One of the new regulations is the following; Operators are now are now obligated to determine the identify of any player (poker players as well) who wins more than €2.500.
This sounds quite easy, but to complicate this matter, it’s not entirely clear what “winning €2.500” means. If a player wins a poker tournament and takes home €2.500 in on go, it’s easy. But players who win €2.500 or more in multiple events also qualify. If the events are connected, the operator is obligated to determine the player’s identity.
Other new regulations were also issued. The below gives you an overview:
- Risk matrix that focuses on players that receive repetitive prize payments.
- Procedures that have to identify suspicious behaviour.
The Spanish gaming regulations have declared the war on fraud. These methods are implement to help them in their battle. Also, all gaming regulators have to include an external auditor that states that the operator is complying with all regulations.
These new regulations are not a problem for larger operators, such as PokerStars. PokerStars now controls approximately 70% of the Spanish online poker market. They should have no problem dealing with the costs associated with the new regulations. Smaller operators will have more problems dealing with the costs associated with the cost of implementing the required systems and regulations. Especially if you take into account that all Spanish operators have to pay a 25% gaming tax of their gross gaming revenue.
Current estimates state that about 40% of the Spanish online poker players play at non-licensed sites. If the cost of the license increases more, less operators will obtain a license, or are forced to increase the rake. This would result in more players playing at non-licensed sites. The question is, will the new regulations result in a larger illegal poker market?