Gambling licenses


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.



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.


  1. Legal requirements:
    1. Public limited company or limited liability company form, with company address in a European Economic Area member state.
    2. Having a sole corporate purpose to organise, market and operate gambling activities.
    3. A minimum total and paid-up share capital of €100,000 to request a general licence for bets and other games, or €60,000 to request only a general licence for contests.
    4. Registration in the Spanish Commercial Register. Foreign companies must register in an equivalent registry, provided state legislation in the company's legal seat requires it.
    5. Registration in the special applicants' section of the General Registry of Gambling Licences.
    6. Not meeting any of the cases foreseen in Article 13.2 of the Gambling Act, Law 13/2011 of 27 May.

  2. Economic requirements:
    1. Suitable statements issued by financial entities on the company's solvency;
    2. Annual accounts presented at the Commercial Registry or corresponding official registry.
    3. Statement on the company's overall turnover for the last three financial years.
    4. Description and source of own and third-party financial resources.

      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.

  3. Technical requirements
    1. Statement indicating the technical staff structure.
    2. Professional experience of the managers of the entity in charge of running the gambling activities for which a licence is sought.
    3. Statement on the average annual staff of the entity in the last three years.
    4. Statement indicating the technical systems available for running the gambling activities for which a licence is sought.
    5. Description of the facilities or technical units, the measures used to guarantee quality and safety and, where applicable, the company's means for study and research.



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.


Financial obligations:

  • Meeting the fees related to the regulated gambling activity.


Technical obligations:

  • Creating a specific website under a '.es' domain
  • Redirecting to the specific website under '.es' domain any users who connect in Spanish territory or using a Spanish account to a domain other than '.es' owned or controlled by the gambling operator, its parent company or subsidiary.
  • Approving the technical systems
  • Identifying participants
  • Monitoring subjective bans on participating (checking the RGIAJ)
  • Randomness of the random number generators used
  • Security requirements of the technical gambling systems
  • Ensuring gambling operations are traceable and registered
  • Implementing an internal monitoring system to capture and register gambling operations and financial transactions. Said system must store data in Spanish territory.
  • If necessary, allowing inspectors to connect to the system, without prejudice to the possibility of carrying out inspections in person.


Obligations under responsible gambling management:

  • Ensuring the integrity and safety of games, guaranteeing participation, transparency of draws and events, calculation of prize payments and a professional and diligent use of funds.
  • Adequately channelling the demand for participation.
  • Reducing any risk of potential damage to society. This includes fighting against illegal gambling and related criminal activities.
  • Collaborating actively with the authorities responsible for preventing money laundering, in accordance with current legislation.



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.



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.