Located in extreme southwestern Europe, Spain is a beautiful country that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. When we talk about Spain, the first things that come to our mind are Flamenco and football. It will not be exaggerated to say that football is the most well-liked and practiced sport in Spain.
The primary division of Spanish football, La Liga, is considered the best in the world. Spanish people are also fond of other sports such as basketball, tennis, and cycling. The Spaniards’ love for sports explains why the sports betting market in the country is flourishing. In January 2023, the Spanish regulator reported that the gross gambling revenue (GGR) reached €240.83 million in Q3 2022, with sports betting accounting for 36.97% of the GGR.
Best Sports Betting Sites in Spain
In 2011, Spain introduced new gambling legislation to regulate online gambling and sports betting on a federal level. Operators interested in offering their services on Spanish soil must obtain a license from the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego or DGOJ). Spanish punters can choose from a decent range of reliable betting sites. Here are some of the licensed sportsbooks that may appeal to your interest.
Best Sports Betting Bonuses in Spain
Spanish betting sites allow sports fans to take advantage of various bonus types. In 2020, Spain prohibited operators from offering welcome bonuses to newcomers. According to the revised Royal Decree, only sports fans who have had an account for over a month and made at least three deposits can claim a sports betting promotion.
Accumulator bets, also known as parlay bets, are quite popular among sports fans because they offer a high payout. This bet type allows punters to combine multiple bets into a single wager. Accumulator bets win only when all selections win. If one of the selections loses, the entire accumulator bet is a loss. Some online sportsbooks offer the so-called Acca insurance promotion. Given that your accumulator bet loses by one selection only, the sportsbook will give your stake back in free bet credits.
Free bets are lucrative due to the fact that they allow sports fans to place a wager without risking their funds. You can use the free bet on any sport you like, but do not forget to comply with the minimum odds requirements. Note that you cannot cash out money from the free bet. However, you can collect a profit if your wager made with a free bet wins.
Since licensed sports betting sites that accept punters from Spain are no longer allowed to offer welcome bonuses, operators have started to pamper existing users with lucrative promotions. Some bookmakers even increase the odds of an outcome, providing sports fans with the opportunity to win more money for the same amount of risk involved.
Betting Regulation in Spain
Spain has a long history of gambling. The pastime was first legalized in 1276. Over the years, the legal status of gambling dramatically changed. From 1939 to 1975, the fascist Francisco Franco ruled over Spain. After his death, the country shifted to democracy. Currently, Spain is a democratic constitutional monarchy. During the Francoist dictatorship, all forms of gambling were outlawed.
In 1977, Spain finally regulated gambling and sports betting activities, allowing each of its 17 provinces to set its own rules regarding the gambling industry within its borders. Most provinces legalized sports betting and gambling. However, the law did not address online gambling and sports betting. Thus, offshore betting sites could operate in Spain without being prosecuted.
But Spanish sports fans were actively using the services of foreign betting sites. As a result, the country missed millions of euros in GGR. That made legislators amend the Spanish gambling laws and regulate the online gambling and sports betting market. Besides, Spain has been a member country of the European Union since 1986, meaning that it must comply with the EU’s laws regarding free trade.
Spain Regulates Online Sports Betting
In 2007, the Spanish Parliament passed the Law on Measures to Develop the Information Society. According to it, the Spanish government must regulate online gambling and sports betting and introduce a list of principles that would govern the iGaming market. But due to the lack of a gambling regulator, the state lottery entity had to lead the regulatory process. On 29th May 2011, the Gaming Act came into force, regulating all forms of online gambling.
Under the Gaming Act, foreign operators can offer their services to Spanish residents if they obtain a license from the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ). The Spanish gambling regulator is responsible for issuing licenses, resolving disputes between bettors and operators, and prosecuting betting sites that operate illegally on Spanish soil. Operators who infringe the Spanish gambling law face hefty fines. However, the law does not include penalties for sports fans who use the services of unlicensed betting sites.
Operators must meet specific conditions to obtain a Spanish license. That being said, there are two types of licenses – general and singular. The general license is awarded to operators who meet technical, financial, reputational, and reliability requirements. Singular licenses are granted to operators for different types of games they intend to offer. Although Spain’s gambling law is cut-and-dried, many reputable sportsbooks stray from the Spanish market. This comes as no surprise considering the burdensome taxes imposed on operators.
Important Sports Betting Restrictions
Online sportsbooks licensed by the Spanish regulator are not allowed to accept bettors under the minimum gambling age of 18. Every Spanish punter should know that gambling winnings are fully taxable. Lottery winnings exceeding €2,500 are subject to a 20% tax. A whole different tax scheme applies to profits derived from casino gambling and sports betting.
Winnings of up to €12,450 are subject to a base rate of 19%. Given that your profits are between €12,450 and €20,200, you will have to pay a 24% tax. The tax on winnings from €20,200 to €35,200 is 30%. Profits exceeding €35,200 are subject to a 37% tax. A tax of 45% applies on profits of €60,000 to €300,000. If your profits from gambling and sports betting activities are over €300,000, you will have to pay a tax of 47%.
In 2020, the Spanish government introduced plans to impose restrictions on gambling commercials and bonuses. Under the initial proposal, advertising gambling services on TV and radio could take place between 1 am and 5 am, while live sports betting commercials could be broadcasted between 8 pm and 5 am. In addition, the draft legislation provided for a cap of €100 on welcome bonuses.
But the country decided to tighten the restrictions and prohibit operators from offering welcome bonuses. Under the new rules, only sports fans who have had an account for over a month and made at least three deposits are eligible to receive a bonus. Besides, gambling and sports betting companies can advertise their services, including live betting, from 1 am to 5 am. Operators are also no longer allowed to sign naming rights deals with stadiums and advertise their brands on sports teams’ shirts.
Spain’s gambling regulator also introduced mandatory daily, weekly, and monthly deposit limits. Spanish punters can fund their accounts with no more than €600 per day, €1,500 per week, and €3,000 per month.
What responsible gambling tools do licensed sportsbooks offer?
Sportsbooks licensed by the Spanish regulator must offer various responsible gambling tools, including cooling-off and self-exclusion. When you join a given betting site, deposit limits will be automatically imposed on your account. Besides, bettors from Spain can set time and spending limits. Reputable betting platforms also provide information about organizations that offer help to compulsive gamblers.
How long do Spanish betting sites take to process withdrawal requests?
On average, reputable betting sites that operate on Spanish soil process withdrawal requests within 24 to 72 hours. However, the pending period varies between the different sportsbooks. A crucial thing to know is that most betting sites require users to withdraw to the same method they used to make a deposit.
What is the most popular odds format in Spain?
In most European countries, including Spain, the decimal odds are preferred by sports fans. That explains why betting sites licensed by the Spanish regulator offer this odds format. However, online sportsbooks provide Spanish punters with the opportunity to switch between different odds formats.
How to deposit funds at a Spanish sportsbook?
Spanish sportsbooks go to great lengths to exceed bettors’ expectations. That is why they support different easy-to-use payment methods. If you want to add funds to your account, navigate to the site’s virtual cashier and select a preferred payment solution. Specify the amount you wish to deposit and follow the instructions. Deposits are usually processed instantly.
Can Spanish punters increase their maximum deposit limits?
Yes, Spanish punters can increase, decrease, or remove their deposit limits. To do so, they need to pass a test on responsible gaming and the prevention of addictive gaming behavior. The sportsbook will review your gaming history for the last three months to ensure that you do not show any signs of gambling problems. The increased limits will come into effect within three days after the analysis is performed.