The Spanish DGOJ Licence
As an online casino player, you know that gambling has been legal in Spain for more than 30 years. However, in 2011, the government implemented the Law 13/2011, which requires certified authorisation to online companies to offer certain services. The aim is to coordinate the national gaming operations through every technological device, such as mobile and TV, among others.
Since then, playing in an online casino became safer. Without regulation, players would face a high risk of unethical behaviour from several online casino companies that operate unlawfully.
As important as it is, every gambling website must have a licence to run in Spain. There are general and special licences, given according to the services the online company would like to offer to its players. The Directorate-General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ – Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego) is the public affairs department responsible to regulate the licences and the iGaming market in the Spanish territory.
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Features of the DGOJ Gambling Licence
Running gambling activities in Spain demands a licence for the games offered (casino games, bets or any other type of game or contest). There are two licences that any new online casino must obtain to operate under Spanish law:
- General licence
This licence enables the holder to run bets, contests or other gambling-related activities. The rules for applying are published in the Official State Gazette. The licence is valid for 10 years, but it can be extended by another 10.
- Special licence
This licence enables the holder to run all the types of regulated games that are already included in the general licence. To request this licence, the operator must have a general licence conceded before. The minimum duration of the Special licence is one year and the maximum is 5 years, but it can also be extendable for successive periods of the same duration.
To obtain the licence the company needs to operate legally, it is necessary permanent approval of the technical gambling systems.
The Key Responsibilities of the DGOJ
The Directorate-General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) “regulates, supervises, controls and, if necessary, penalises” all the gambling activity in Spain, which functions include, among several others:
- authorisation and inspection of gambling activities;
- licence application and penalisation procedures;
- management and settlement of fees.
The Directorate is divided into three sub directorates. The aim is to develop a series of preventive actions to avoid bad, irresponsible and illegal gambling.
How To Recognise a Licenced Online Casino?
Before recommending any online casino at www.newcasinos.com, our team of experts must follow a list of criteria. One of the most important ones: a licence. Every single Spanish casino we list on our site has a licence regulated by the Directorate-General for the Regulation of Gambling.
The online casinos licenced in Spain are safe and trustworthy. However, if you would like to check yourself if a casino has a licence and it is operating legally, you can scroll down to the bottom of any page and check the menus in the footer.
Alternatively, you can visit the DGOJ website and click on the link called licenced Operators. You will find a list of online casinos that are operating under Spanish law.
What Are The Benefits of a DGOJ Licence Compared to Others?
Having a licence from DGOJ means that the online casino is running legally. In order to prohibit non-authorised online casinos to perform, the Directorate prevents, detects illegal websites and administers punishments procedures if needed. Nevertheless, there are more benefits than just operating legitimately.
Aiming to acquire more online casino companies, the Directorate-General for the Regulation of Gambling set up the tax rate at 20% to its regulated websites. Until 2019, it was 25%. Every year, DGOJ licenced casinos are responsible for the 30% growth and the 500 million euros profit from the iGaming industry. These benefits are appealing to new companies to settle down in the country, which helps the economy to increase year after year.
What Are The Risks Involved in Playing at a Casino Without a DGOJ Licence?
We can say risks as if they were a ‘disadvantage’ to the companies that apply for one of the DGOJ licences. Online casino companies need to obtain two licences to legally operate in Spain: a general licence (to exploit online gambling) and a singular licence (that corresponds to the games they will offer).
Spanish online casinos cannot legally perform any gambling activity without these licences, which can be applied for at any time or at the same time as the general one. The approval of the provisional licence can take up to 6 months (the definitive licence can take up to 4 months to be granted); therefore, it can be a bit of a hassle if the company does not prepare well for the waiting period. The request can also be denied if the DGOJ committee believes the online casino is not meeting the requirements needed in order to obtain the licences.
Recent Legislative Changes
On February 20, Spain’s Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón, announced changes in the iGaming industry. The new law will prohibit almost 80% of online gambling ads due to irresponsible gambling. He says online casinos activity have a great impact on public health’.
The problem is that many ads glamourise the entertainment as if it was the solution to financial problems and give the customers the idea that skills in a particular game can make you win a huge amount of money – which is not likely true.
If online casino operators fail to abide by the new legislation, the fee will range between €100 thousand to €1 million and they might also lose their licences for 6 months permanently, depending on the decision of the DGOJ.
How Can The DGOJ Help Me if I Have a Complaint?
If you are having any problems with an online casino operator, you can contact the Directorate-General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) directly. Any conflict or disagreement with the casino you are registered to can be taken to the Directorate to solve the issue.
If you an online casino player or a lotto customer, you can contact them via the form on their website, under the section ‘Complaints’, regarding actions or omissions of licenced gambling operators.
The correspondent DGOJ sector will take the necessary measures to achieve the quality result they aim for.
DGOJ licence FAQ
If you have any questions, please follow up on the FAQ below:
1. What an online casino must obtain to legally operate in Spain?
A Spanish online casino must have two licences: the general licence – which gives the right to run in the country – and the special licence – which gives the right to offer their games to the players.
2. What are the fees for Gambling Administration?
There are 6 fees, divided into 2 groups (4 and 2) that any online casino operator must pay in order to apply and obtain a general and a special licence. The amount will vary between €2500 and €38 thousand.
3. What’s the waiting period to obtain a licence?
The provisional licence can take up to 6 months. After this period of time, it can take up to 4 months for the definitive licence to be granted to the online casino operator.
4. Do affiliate sites need licences?
No, as long as the affiliate sites do not carry out any gambling activities, such as registration of the customers.
5. Do online casino operators in Spain need to add DGOJ logos on their websites?
Yes. There are four logos that needed to be placed on a visible area of any Spanish online casino: prohibition logos (under age players), responsible gambling, safe website (meaning that the online casino has a licence to operate legally in Spain).