Madrid Court Thumbs Down Sportingbets Gambling Appeal in Spain

This recent debacle by Sportingbet is yet another development in its longstanding legal tussle with the Spanish gambling group. The court ruling effectively paved the way for the permanent shutdown of the Spanish of Sportingbet. Sportingbet filed an appeal to an earlier court ruling and deposited some 3 million in the process. The latest ruling by the Mercantile Court affirming an earlier decision with finality has set the legal precedent for similar issues in the Spanish market.

The judge cited that any gaming or betting offering that has no prior administrative clearance or authorization is unquestionably illegal and therefore prohibited under existing laws. The exclusion defined by the court ruling covers all types of marketing and offering of any form of game of chance and the betting activity that is carried out online or by remote before May 29th of 2011, which is the date when the new online gambling rules and regulations were enforced.

In its petition, Codere has anchored its position on the claim that foreign operators of gambling and betting platforms that are unlicensed are creating an inequitable playing field since they are benefiting from unfair tax havens and are exempt from paying Spanish taxes. Codere has also argued that offshore sites do not have any contribution to the country’s employment and are wanting in terms of player protection.

“This augurs well to our overall effort of promoting and protecting the interests of the stakeholders as well as the gaming aficionados in the country,” a Codere representative declared.

Offshore gambling operators like Pokerstar, Jackpot city slots and Sportingbet are claiming a possible legal vacuum due to the apparent delays in the acceptance and processing of applications and issuance of licenses. This legal argument has been successfully used by Pokerstar in its recent case in a Barcelona court.