by Renee Israel
Betfair, the giant UK online gambling group, has become the latest
company to be granted an egambling license to operate in the newly regulated
The group announced on Thursday that its license application had
been successful, and it could now start offering its products to Spanish online
The new license awarded to Betfair allows the group to offer casino
products such as blackjack and roulette, as well as sports betting platforms.
According to a spokesperson for Betfair, the group would be
eligible for a 25% gross gaming revenue tax, as are all operators in the new
Betfair stressed that it has been paying this tax ever since Spain
introduced its new gambling legislation in May 2011.
60 Groups Apply for Spanish Gambling License
Betfair was one of around sixty gambling groups who applied for
a new gambling license from Spain. The cash-strapped nation decided to take
advantage of the growing online gambling industry and channel millions of Euros
in tax and revenues back into the country's coffers.
Spain is considered a major sporting power and revenues from the
newly regulated industry could generate as much as £800 million in 2014,
according to estimates.
In recent weeks alone, Spain raised over £70 million from online
gambling companies, including Betfair, who were forced to pay back taxes ahead
of the finalisation of licenses by Spanish authorities.
Some of the groups who applied for - and received - gambling
licenses include Bwin.Party Digital and SportingBet, as well as the biggest
bookmaker in the UK, William Hill and online gambling company, 888 Holdings Plc.
Betfair's Future in Germany Worrying
With the news of Betfair obtaining a Spanish gambling license,
however, comes concerns for Betfair regarding its future in the German gambling
Recently, Betfair became one of the first groups to receive an online
gambling license from the German state Schleswig-Holstein, paving the way for
the company to offer its services to a growing German gambling market.
Last weekend, however, the newly elected coalition government in the state
said that it intended to reverse its decision to offer online gambling licenses
and, instead, join the other 15 German states to adopt a unified gambling
The implications of this statement are still unknown, with both
Schleswig-Holstein authorities and the newly licensed gambling groups consulting
with their legal representatives to see how these changes could affect them.