According to a report from the Swiss-Presse news service, efforts to regulate and tax online gambling in Spain have stalled and could take upwards of another year to be finalised.
The report quoted the Spanish Association of Internet Bettors (AEDAPI) as estimating that the benefits to companies operating in this sector exceeded $257 million last year while the Government has lost around $26 million in taxes as the issue of regulation drags on.
The Spanish Congress of Representatives approved its Law Of Measures To Boost The Information Society in December of 2007. This piece of legislation included a commitment to present a bill to regulate online gambling and betting. With no movement, there was a meeting of the Gambling Sectoral Commission six months later but no progress was made. This body included members of the Interior Ministry, the Secretary of State, the Tax Agency, the National Entity of Lotteries and Betting (ONLAE) and the autonomous communities.
Online gaming is currently in legal limbo in Spain, as it is not being taxed, and this is one aim of the new legislation. AEDAPI stated that it is important to implement a regulation and licensing regime to alleviate the prospect of operators in the Spanish market paying taxes and fees elsewhere.
Companies located outside of Spain pay tax in their country of origin, AEDAPI revealed, which in the case of UK firms is levied at 15 percent. Online gaming companies could benefit from a more competitive environment in the autonomous region of Madrid, as its tax rate is only ten percent.