Spain Sets February 1st Deadline for Single Licence Renewals

Spain's gambling regulator La Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) has issued a new directive to ensure all operators holding singular licences to operate specific products renew their certification, setting a deadline of February 1st for companies to do so.

All singular licences, specifically those for fixed-odds betting on horse racing, roulette, baccarat and blackjack issued when the market opened on June 1st 2012, were granted for three-year terms and expire in June this year.

With the licence period coming to an end, companies must now submit renewal requests by February, allowing them to secure extensions of at least one year, and at most five, to continue offering the products to their customers. Pursuant to Article 11 of Law 13/2011, companies must submit their applications at least four months before the expiry of the current licence.

Those seeking renewals will be assessed to determine whether they have met the licensing conditions for each product. They will have to prove that they have complied with the requirements and conditions necessary for obtaining the licence in the first place; be able to demonstrate that they have used the licence for at least three-fifths of the original licence duration, and prove that they have paid tax and fees on gaming activities during this period.

Companies that decide against renewing their licence, or those that fail to secure an extension, will be required by law to cease offering the products by June 1st.

Operators must submit separate applications for each product, including a declaration from a legal representative stating that the company meets all requirements and conditions that were necessary for obtaining the licence, as well as specifying the date from which the licence became active. A management certificate, certifying that the applicant is up-to-date with tax obligations, as well as proof of payment, will also be required.

The application will then be processed using the DGOJ register, and will be approved or denied within three months of the documentation being filed.

The regulator then has the option to review the documents and within ten days of the application being filed, ask the operator to provide additional information or amend the original filing. Should the company fail to act accordingly, the application will be rejected.

Should the application be rejected for any other reason, the operator will have a one-month window in which to file an appeal against the decision.

General licences, issued for the operation of online games, have been issued for ten-year terms, and will be eligible for ten-year extensions when the original period ends.

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