Spanish operators face tougher scrutiny after 2022 gambling fines rise to €84m

Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs wishes to enforce tougher online gambling monitoring after sector penalties increased YoY in 2022.
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Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs wishes to enforce tougher online gambling monitoring after sector penalties handed to licensed operators have increased year-over-year in 2022.

During the first half of 2022, the Ministry issued “sanctions for serious infractions” on 53 operators, with fines totalling €84.3m, up on the previous year’s €58m on 21 operators.

Of the 53 individual penalties, “disqualification orders” were issued to 21 operators for “very serious infractions”, resulting in the revoking of their licences for two years and the closure of their websites to the Spanish public.

The DGOJ, Spain’s gambling authority, named Famagousta BV, CrackerJack Entertainment, Purple Rain NV, and Abundntia BV as operators that had their licences revoked on its published list of 2022 infringements

A further 17 penalties, resulting in fines between €4m and €5m, were given to operators who performed “serious infractions of the Gambling Law”, while the remaining fines were handed out at €1m each.

Betfair Spain, Codere, and 888Sport were named as operators that had failed to meet the new requirements of the modified Gambling Regulation Law (LRJ) adopted in 2021.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs became the lead government department for gambling, enforcing tougher penalties on operator infringements following the changes to the LRJ.

Penalties must be disclosed to the public, the ministry ordered, as its “an exercise in transparency that makes it possible to know which the web domains are sanctioned for serious or very serious infractions”.

“This is the case of operators that offer gambling-related activities without the corresponding enabling title or of those who allow people who were prohibited from gambling to play knowing of such prohibitions, among other circumstances.”

Alberto Garzon, Spain’s Minister of Consumer Affairs, has stated that operators must prepare for sweeping Gambling Law reforms. 

Approved last month by the Senate, the new laws will require operators to maintain in-play safeguards and wagering limits on online casino and slot games, alongside new customer care duties on website/app access, player registrations and the monitoring/reporting of customer play.

Garzon expects no delay in the government’s sign-off of the reforms, with operators being granted no more than a grace period to implement the necessary changes.