Spain issued €81 mln worth of fines to 17 online casinos

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Spain issued €81 mln worth of fines to 17 online casinos

In the latter half of 2023, Spain’s gambling regulatory authority imposed fines exceeding €81 million on 17 online betting platforms.

The DGOJ revealed that these sites were found guilty of serious or very serious infractions, resulting in the closure order for 10 of them, as reported by El Pais.

The most significant penalty, amounting to €35 million accompanied by a four-year closure, was handed down to the National Organisation of the Spanish and European Disabled (ONDEE). The organization faced accusations of unfair competition leveled against it by the ONCE charity.

The entity had been conducting an unlicensed lottery scheme, even going as far as to impersonate ONCE in the sale of tickets, a practice strictly prohibited. The DGOJ deemed this transgression as warranting an “extraordinarily severe” penalty, leading to the imminent closure of the offending ONDEE website.

Ever since the public disclosure of penalty details commenced in 2021, a total of 139 fines have been levied, amounting to a staggering €333 million.

Mikel Arana, the director-general of the DGOJ, emphasized the crucial role of these sanctions in upholding a safe gambling environment, particularly highlighting the significance of penalizing unlicensed operators to combat illegal gambling activities within the Spanish market.

Arana underscored that such illicit operators pose a significant risk, serving as potential avenues for minors and gambling addicts who have sought self-exclusion measures, circumventing the safeguards established by Spain’s gambling laws.

The list of entities committing grave infringements by operating without licenses in Spain includes Rabadi, Uno Digital Media, Eight Stars, Mrsloty Games Tech, Entretenimiento Rojo, Onyxion Malta, Trw Corporate, Vdsoft&Script Development, and Uniquegame. Each of these entities has been slapped with a €5 million fine and mandated to shutter their websites for a duration of two years.

Arana further noted the persistent challenge posed by some of these illicit operators, likening the process to a game of cat and mouse, wherein closures are met with swift reemergence under different aliases. Despite this, he affirmed Spain’s position as a European frontrunner in combating unauthorized gambling sites, with illegal gambling activities in the country maintained below 3%.