The Spanish government is certainly capitalizing on the upcoming opening of its online gambling market. In addition to the fact that regulating online gaming websites will generate millions of dollars per year in revenue, the government will also be earning money from back taxes, which operators will be required to pay if they want to receive their licenses.
When Spain’s online gambling legislation was originally planned, operators were required to pay 1 years’ worth of back taxes. The provision was planned, as many companies would be operating in the country while the legislation was being passed. As such, they would have to pay back taxes for this period of time. Now, the Spanish government has asked that all operators who have been granted licenses pay 4 years’ worth of back taxes, amounting in hundreds of millions of dollars.
There is no word yet on why the back taxes have been boosted; however, potential new operators are not questioning the provision. Many are prepared for fork out the cash required by the government in order to receive their licenses. Bwin.party will be paying $42 million while SportingBet has already paid $22 million. Betfair has announced that it will not pay any more than $10 million. There are some rumours circulating that larger sites like PokerStars will be required to pay upwards of $100 million; however, these companies have not confirmed whether or not they will pay the taxes.
The Spanish gambling market presents operators from around the world with the potential to break into a burgeoning online casino world. With millions of potential players and billions of potential profits, it seems that online gambling operators feel it is worth paying millions in back taxes in order to access this highly sought-after market.