Update on Betfair's Licensing and Tax Position in Spain
The Spanish Government has stated its intention to issue a first wave of online gaming licences at the beginning of June. Betfair expects to be awarded a licence covering its sportsbook and certain casino products and intends to apply for a poker licence shortly thereafter. Under the terms of the licences, operators will pay a Gross Gaming Revenue tax of 25% on Spanish operations – a tax that Betfair has already been paying since May 2011 when Spain’s new gambling act was introduced.
Following the receipt of the initial licences, Betfair’s Exchange will be made unavailable to Spanish customers, who will be transferred to Betfair’s new sportsbook until exchange licences are issued. The regulation of betting exchanges is specifically provided for in primary legislation and the Spanish regulator has recently reiterated the intention to regulate exchanges and slots in a second wave of licensing, the process for which is expected to begin once the initial licences are issued.
Spain has, along with a number of other EU member states, been leading the way in the regulation of internet gambling. Betfair continues its constructive dialogue with the Spanish regulatory authorities and looks forward to working with them in the near future on the licensing of betting exchanges.
Separately, the Spanish tax authority has required online operators with customers in Spain to file tax returns and make a payment in respect of operations between January 2009 and May 2011 under historic laws dating from 1966 and 1977. Betfair can confirm that it has satisfied all requirements set out by the tax authorities and will be making a payment of not more than €10 million. The one-off nature of this charge means that it will be reported separately in the financial statements for the year ended 30 April 2012.