PROCEDURE FOR GRANTING GAMBLING LICENCES
Running and organising non-occasional gambling activities requires a general licence for that particular game, whether it be a bet, contest or other game. Lottery games are not included, since state-wide lottery games, pursuant to law, are exclusive to the operators Sociedad Estatal de Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (S.M.E.) and Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles (ONCE).
As well as the general licence, operators are required to obtain a special licence for the particular type of game they wish to organise, market or run. Therefore:
General licences: enable the holder to run bets, contests and other gambling activities. The DGOJ provides the licence following a timely call for applications guided by the principles of advertising, competition, transparency, equality, objectivity and non-discrimination as laid down in the rules for applying, published in the Official State Gazette. The procedure can also be opened at the request of the interested party. In such case, the DGOJ has 6 months to begin the procedure, unless it decides not to for reasons of general interest.
Licences are valid for 10 years, extendable for another 10.
Special licences: enable the holder to run all the types of regulated games included in a general licence; therefore, only operators with a general licence may request a corresponding special licence. The DGOJ is in charge of granting said licences, in accordance with the regulations for this purpose.
They have a minimum duration of one year and a maximum duration of five, which may be extended for successive periods of the same duration. Loss of the general licence results in the loss of the single licences linked to it.
REQUIREMENTS FOR OBTAINING A GAMBLING LICENCE
There is usually no limit to the number of licences that can be granted. The procedure for granting licences aims to verify applicants' compliance with the requirements set in current legislation and in the terms of the call. These are namely requirements of a legal, economic, and financial nature, software security and reliability requirements, and anti-fraud and anti-money laundering requirements, in the spirit of the licence granting model laid down in the law and its implementing regulations.
Not meeting any of the cases foreseen in Article 13.2 of the Gambling Act, Law 13/2011 of 27 May.
This does not affect the fact that the DGOJ may, for justified reasons, allow the applicant to certify his or her economic and financial solvency using any other document it deems suitable.
RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF LICENSEES
In accordance with the requirements that must be met by entities applying for a gambling licence, a series of rights and obligations have been laid down for such entities once they have obtained a licence. Their rights are basically to run their state-wide gambling activity in accordance with the granted licences.
Their obligations can be grouped into financial, technical and responsible gambling management duties.
Obligations under responsible gambling management:
END OF THE PROCEDURE
The licensing procedure ends with the Directorate General for Gambling Regulation issuing a Resolution within 6 months from the time the request was filed, without prejudice to an extension for a period of time equal to the time spent by the applicant to meet the requirements of the Directorate during said term. This Resolution must be notified to the applicant within ten days of its adoption and will be published in the website of the Directorate General for Gambling Regulation. If such period expires without an express Resolution on the application having been delivered and notified, it will be deemed accepted due to administrative silence.
In any case, the granting of a licence is conditional upon obtaining permanent approval of the technical gambling systems, which must be granted within 6 months following the date of notification of the corresponding granted licence.
STATE OF THE LATEST CALL
59 companies took part in the call for gambling licences requesting 98 general licences and 202 special licences, a total of 300 licences (Order EHA/ 3124/2011 to approve the rules of the call for general gambling licences for running bets, contests and other games, published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on 18 November 2011, and Resolution of the General Directorate of Gambling Regulation issued on 16 November 2011 setting the procedure for applying and granting special licences).
In this call, 93 general licences were granted for running bets, contests and other games, and 189 special licences were granted for the corresponding types of games. This totals 282 licences granted to 55 licensee entities, of the initial 59 entities that requested a licence.
It must be noted that any interested party may request a new call for gambling licences at least 18 months after the last call for the same type of game took place.