The Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling is a special commission that regulates the gambling business in Spain. This state body carries out its activities on the basis of the Spanish Gambling Act, which was adopted in May 2011.
To date, two types of licenses can be obtained from the General Division of Gaming Regulation of Spain:
- General license, the presence of which is mandatory for obtaining a special license;
- A special license that is required for each individual type of gambling entertainment.
General license holders have the right to legally organize betting shops, as well as contests and other games of chance in the territory of this jurisdiction. A license can be obtained after consideration of the application by the regulatory body.
Spain publishes the “Official State Gazette”, which published the principles of transparency, equality, non-discrimination, advertising, competition and objectivity. It is on these principles that the licensees of the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling must rely in their activities.
The licensing process starts from the moment the operator submits an application for consideration. Within 6 months, but no more than that, the commission must either approve or reject this application. The DGOJ license is issued for 10 years, in the future it can be extended for another 10 years.
A general license is a work permit, with the help of which operators can organize all types of gambling entertainment that are included in the list of general ones. But a special license is issued only for a year. In the future, it can be extended for another 5 years. Expiration of the general license will result in the cancellation of all special licenses received.
Slightly different rules apply to lotteries, since this area was monopolized by the state. Only two operators are authorized to organize lotteries in Spain: Sociedad Estatal de Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (S.M.E.) and Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles (ONCE).
The Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling is a special regulatory body that is subordinate to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the General Secretariat for Consumer Affairs and Gambling.
The Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling performs the following functions:
- Engaged in the regulation, control, coordination and authorization of the gambling business in Spain;
- Adheres to the provisions of the Spanish Gambling Act, which was adopted in May 2011;
- Issues permits for the implementation of general or special gambling activities at the district level;
- Makes proposals and amendments to legal acts related to gambling activities;
- Inspects the activities of gambling operators, as well as their technical software systems;
- Initiates cases of violation of the law and conduct of illegal gambling activities;
- Processes applications of potential licensees;
- Regulates the administrative procedures of State Lottery outlets;
- Maintains business relations with other bodies and institutions of the General State Administration in the issue of gambling regulation;
- Controls the implementation of legislative norms and economic obligations by all subjects of gambling activity;
- Provides security guarantees to all DGOJ license holders;
- Manages material resources and infrastructure in the gambling business;
- Initiates prosecutions for illegal conduct of gambling activities;
- Contacts and concludes agreements with all payment service providers;
- Establishes technical requirements for the gaming process and software of licensees;
- Processes received complaints and written appeals;
- Protects the interests of all participants in the gaming process;
- Manages gambling registers.
Main goals of activity
The Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling consists of the following divisions:
- General division for the regulation of gambling activities. It is this department that performs all of the above functions;
- General subordinate department for the control of gambling activities.
Requirements for licensees
Online casino operators licensed by the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling are required to comply with the following regulatory body requirements:
- Provide users with only safe games and entertainment;
- Ensure transparency in the payment of winnings and the conduct of all financial payments;
- Contribute to the fight against illegal gambling and criminal activities, thereby reducing the likelihood of possible damage to society;
- Maintain a cooperative relationship with the authorities involved in the prevention of money laundering procedures.
All DGOJ licensees are required to comply with all legal and technical requirements from the commission, as well as follow the rules and regulations of the current legislation in the gambling industry. Such a responsible approach to doing business will guarantee the safety and reliability of each player.
On the official website of The Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling, you can find the provisions for responsible and safe gambling. These points must be adhered to by all operators operating in Spain. All DGOJ licensees must:
- Establish clear and transparent rules of the game;
- Guarantee to its users the honesty of the gaming process (without fraud);
- Guarantee the security of all financial transactions;
- Verify the identity and age of each player.
General Directorate of Gambling Regulation
Operators that have received a DGOJ license have the full right to legally open a land-based or online casino in Spain. But in order to carry out their activities internationally, operators will need to obtain a cross-permission.
To date, there are 61 online casinos in Spain that have received a license from the ate General for the Regulation of Gambling. The website of this regulatory authority has published a list that consists of 98 operators of online casino games, bingo, poker, lotteries, sports betting, contests and cash prize draws.
As mentioned earlier, there are 61 legal online casinos registered in Spain. But of these platforms, only 52 have Live Casino games with live dealers. Live roulette is the most popular. Live broadcasts are conducted from the studios of the best software providers around the world. Players have the opportunity to place bets in the virtual Live Casino while interacting with the croupier in real time.
Although the gambling entertainment industry in Spain does not stand still and develops at a rapid pace, bitcoin casinos are still prohibited at the legislative level. This is because the use of cryptocurrencies is not regulated in Spain. All casinos that use bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for financial transactions are illegal and Spanish citizens are prohibited from using their services. That is, DGOJ licensees do not accept BTC.
But this question remains open, since the legislation has not fully regulated this situation. Some gaming platforms go for tricks, and bypassing online blocking, register and conduct financial transactions using cryptocurrencies.
Every year, the Spanish state budget loses significant funds due to the illegal use of cryptocurrencies in online casinos. This currency attracts players with the fact that it has no legal restrictions, and its use does not entail any legal liability, in addition to the lost funds.
According to the law Impuesto de Actividades de Juego – IAJ, adopted in 2011, the gambling tax is 20% of the operator’s net profit. The tax can be calculated based on the total amount received from bets and other income from gambling, minus winnings paid to users.
In 2015, this law was amended, according to which operators of online casinos and other gambling establishments, the tax residence and the main office of which is located in the residence of Ceuta or Melilla, are required to pay a tax of 10% of net profit, instead of the usual 20%.
Gambling tax must be declared quarterly, but no later than one month after the end of each quarter. Gambling business is not subject to value added tax.
Procedure for Obtaining a DGOJ License
In order to qualify for a license from the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling, an operator must meet a range of financial, legal and economic requirements. It must also confirm the safety, reliability and high quality of the software. To obtain a DGOJ license, the following mandatory requirements must be met:
- Establish an open joint stock company or a limited liability company. The main office of such a community must be located in the territory of the European Union;
- To apply for a general license, the minimum share capital must be more than 100,000 euros, for operators who want to accept bets on horse racing – from 60,000 euros;
- The company must be registered in Spain and be registered in the special applicants section of the General Registry of Gambling Licenses.
- To obtain a license for consideration by the DGOJ commission, you must submit the following list of documents:
- Official confirmation of solvency;
- Annual report from the Commercial Register;
- Reports on the turnover of funds for the last 3 years;
- Confirmed description of the source of financial resources;
- Detailed technical description of the software;
- Certificate confirming the professional experience of the head of the company;
- Information about the number of employees of the company;
- A detailed description of all technical systems and machines for which a license will be issued.
Other documents may be submitted for consideration by the Commission if the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling deems it appropriate.
Spanish Gambling Act Requirements
Under the Spanish Gambling Act, all DGOJ license holders are required to:
- The site must have a .es domain name;
- All players resident in Spain must be redirected from the cross-license site to the platform with the .es domain;
- The operator must confirm its technical regulations;
- It is mandatory to carry out identification and verification of all players;
- Regular review by RGIAJ;
- The gameplay should be based on the work of the random number generator;
- The operator must guarantee the safety of technical systems;
- Continuous monitoring and recording of gaming operations.
All information from the internal system for monitoring the gameplay and financial transactions must be transmitted to the Spanish server.
Within 6 months, but no more than that, the commission must either approve or reject this application. If during this period the operator does not receive a decision on obtaining a license, his application is automatically considered approved.
The gambling business in Spain is fully legalized and regulated by the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling. All persons who have reached the age of majority can absolutely safely enjoy their favorite gambling establishments. Unfortunately, in order to use the services of a casino with a DGOJ license, you must have Spanish citizenship or a residence permit. Residents of other countries do not have access to online casinos. On this page you can find a list of casinos that have received a DGOJ license. All these gambling platforms are proven, reliable and prestigious, so you can be sure of your safety and enjoy the gaming process!