Spanish iGamers Eye Offshore Casinos

With the tightening up of online gambling laws in Spain, many players are looking to offshore casino operators to provide their gambling entertainment.

It may come as no real surprise to anyone who can see the obvious staring them in the face. But when you clamp down on the rules governing an adult's freedom to gamble as they see fit, they are going to turn to whoever can provide the vehicle for their enjoyment.

Economic Downturn Fuels Increase in Gambling

In the case of Spanish online casino-goers, who are heavily restricted in which sites they can play at by government Internet gambling laws, the temptation to try unlicensed and unregulated operators based offshore is too great to resist. This is especially evident with the present economic problems the country is undergoing and the high levels of unemployment.

According to a recent report by the Codere Foundation (they are the non-profit research arm of Codere, the gaming operator) and the Institute for Policy and Governance (IPOLGOB) at University Carlos III, Madrid, while fewer players are spending money on betting, those that still do tend to move to illegal unlicensed casinos. This is preference to those that are licensed to operate within Spain's borders.

Are The Laws Too Restrictive?

Many players question whether the current Internet gaming laws in Spain are too restrictive and are in fact driving players to illegal sites instead of attracting the to legal ones where the government takes its own cut in taxes. This was doubtless the reason for the legal setup, but it could have backfired on the government.

It is exactly this limiting tactic that ends up costing governments more in lost revenue than they would have attracted had they been more open in allowing more operators to provide their services to players. Of course the most extreme kind of this case has been amply demonstrated in the United States when the Federal Government cracked down on all forms of online gambling in 2006 with eth introduction of the UIGEA.

What is the Answer?

In times of economic uncertainty, it is difficult to come up with an all-encompassing answer to the problems associated with gambling and the loss of taxation revenue that invariably comes about because players take their business elsewhere. A more relaxed attitude toward operator licensing and regulation would go some way to restoring player confidence in government policy, but only time will tell if making such changes will have much of an impact on the current state of affairs.

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