Gambling in Spain is legal in various forms both online and offline and is regulated by the government. Today in Spain you can find land-based casinos, bingo halls, lotteries, slot machines and sports betting shops. Some of the most common forms of online gambling activities include online poker, online sports betting, online casinos (with slots and other online casino games), online bingo and online lottery.
Spanish citizens can play at hundreds of gambling sites, some of which are home-grown, but the vast majority are foreign gambling sites that are licensed abroad and operate from outside of Spanish borders. All of this is overseen by the General Directorate for Gambling Regulation, and the main legislation that legalized gambling in the country was the Spanish Gambling Act. There are no laws that prevent Spanish players from playing at foreign controlled gambling sites.
Gambling History in Spain
For a very long time, more than 100 years, the only real form of gambling in Spain was the lottery. This all changed when in 1977, games of skill became legal, and this paved the way for even more gambling activities to start appearing in the country over the coming years. In 1981 the government also then made games of chance legal too. Ever since then Spanish citizens have been able to play on their favourite casino games at a land-based casino, and in more recent times at online casinos.
In 2002, the Spanish government began developing and fine-tuning it’s gambling regulatory framework and the major piece of legislation that encompasses gambling in the country, the Spanish Gambling Act, was finally passed in 2011. Today there are hundreds of fully licensed gambling sites that Spanish players can enjoy placing a wager at, but the majority of today’s best Spanish online casinos (and other similar gambling sites) are foreign controlled, and their operations are based overseas.
Spain Gambling & Online Gambling Laws
Online gambling is officially regulated in the country by the General Directorate for Gambling Regulation and the Spanish Gambling Act led to a well-regulated industry. It basically regulates national gaming operations through electronic, interactive and technological means, and this includes gambling via numerous mediums of communication systems such as telephone landlines, mobile phones, television and the internet.
To gamble in the real money mode today in Spain (either online at any of the hundreds of gambling sites that are currently available, or at licensed land-based gambling venues such as casinos and sports betting shops), you must be at least 18 years of age. Spanish players are not breaking the law when playing at foreign gambling sites, and there are currently plenty to choose from.
The only real downside to the gambling laws in Spain is that unfortunately under Spanish law, not all gambling winnings are tax exempt. If you win anything less than €2,500, then you won’t be taxed, but any winnings above this set amount are subject to a 20% tax rate. However, a law that was passed in 2012 does allow gamblers to discount their gambling losses from tax paid on any gambling winnings accrued in the same tax year.
Online Casino Benefits to Players from Spain
Today Spanish players can access some of the very best online casinos in the world thanks to their developed regulatory system and clear laws that are currently in place. This means that you can also enjoy playing on some of the best online casino games in the world (and live dealer games) that have been developed by numerous industry-award-winning online casino software providers such as NetEnt, Playtech, Microgaming and others (e.g. IGT Interactive, WMS Gaming, Evolution Gaming, Red Tiger Gaming, Rival Gaming, Quickspin, Betsoft Gaming and Yggdrasil Gaming).
One of the main benefits to players from Spain who play at foreign gambling sites or home-grown ones is that they all accept Euros. Therefore you can always play in a currency that you are familiar with, plus you can also deposit and withdraw using a wide range of popular Spanish online payment options (e.g. credit cards, debit cards and e-wallets).
You can claim a guaranteed new player welcome bonus when you sign up and deposit for the very first time, plus you can also benefit from some attractive perks, rewards and benefits thanks to the loyalty and VIP programs. That’s not all though. At today’s best Spanish online casinos you can choose between playing on desktop or mobile and either instantly in your web browser or from within a secure download client, plus you get to play in a secure online environment which is protected by the latest and most advanced SSL encryption technology.
FAQ Useful to Players from Spain
Can I gamble in the real money mode at foreign gambling sites?
Yes. You can gamble at hundreds of fully licensed foreign gambling sites, and the good news is that you’re not breaking the law.
Can foreign gambling sites that welcome Spanish players be trusted?
Yes. The best Spanish online casinos tend to be the ones that are licensed in the UK, in Gibraltar and Malta. Spanish players also have access to hundreds of other foreign gambling sites that are licensed in places such as Kahnawake and Curaçao.
Do I have to pay taxes on my gambling winnings?
Unfortunately yes, but only if your winnings are above €2,500. Any winnings above this set amount are subject to a 20% tax rate.
Can I play in Euros and what kind of online payment options are accepted at foreign gambling sites?
Yes. Euros are accepted, and there are plenty of popular Spanish online payment options to choose from that enable you to easily deposit & withdraw.
If I have, for example, a technical issue or just a general question about the casino, what’s the best way to get in touch with the casino?
Spanish online casinos today generally provide 24/7, professionally trained player support and the best way to get in touch with the casino is via live chat, email or telephone (the latter of which is quite often toll-free for Spanish players).
Online Gambling Highlights in Spain
- Spanish players currently have access to hundreds of the world’s best online gambling sites
- Enjoy playing on thousands of world-class online casino games from numerous industry-award-winning online casino software providers
- Live dealer games such as live roulette, live blackjack, live baccarat, live casino hold’em and live dream catcher also now widely available
- Claim a guaranteed new player welcome bonus when you sign up and the look forward to even more frequent bonuses (such as cashback bonuses, free spins bonuses and matching deposit bonuses) and prize-packed promotional offers
- Play regularly in the real money mode for some fantastic rewards, perks and benefits with the amazing loyalty programs
- Play on the games either instantly in our web browser, or occasionally, from within a secure download client
- Today’s best Spanish gambling sites are available on desktop and mobile, and they are controlled by trustworthy operators with proven track records
- Gamble in your currency of Euros and choose from plenty of popular Spanish online payment options
Problem Gambling Help in Spain
Spain seems to have more support for problem gamblers than almost any other country on our list. There are literally too many organizations to list individually here, and this includes internationally accredited and home-grown problem gambling websites and numerous land-based rehab centres dotted that are around the country, some of which are free and some of which can be quite costly.
There are toll-free telephone numbers that you can call 24 hours per day which can put in touch with professionally trained counsellors, plus you can also generally find live chat support and email support features at these websites, with useful links provided to you by the casino (or another similar online gambling site) that you have signed up to. These Spanish problem gambling websites also tend to have online forums or online chatrooms where you can use the live text chat feature to talk about issues related to problem gambling, and you can also normally find useful articles, questionnaires, faq sections and more.