While betting and various other forms of gambling related activities are immensely popular in practically all the other European nations, Spain has an affinity towards such pursuits that these other countries simply cannot compare with. In fact, the Spanish propensity for gambling has been widely documented over the years, with no less than Voltaire being keenly aware of the widespread popularity of this national pastime.
The Legalities Of Betting In Spain
Betting was largely unregulated in Spain for many years, although the increased demand for related services has caused the government to implement laws that would allow the unhindered practice of certain types of online betting related activities. By all indications, such laws would effectively legalize and standardize land-based betting services as well as online gambling. Many industry observers and government authorities are of the opinion that these laws bode well for the future of the gambling industry in the country, given the huge number of potential Spanish customers who would be interested in betting online.
Current Online Betting Trends In Spain
All signs point to the eventual development of Spain into one of the biggest regulated online betting markets in the world, and perhaps the biggest one in the European Union. Adding further fuel to the speculation surrounding these recent developments is the forging of an agreement between the foremost Spanish gambling group, Codere, and the online betting operator, William Hill. This agreement paved the way for the eventual granting of online gambling and sports betting licenses to private operators, both online and land-based.
While traditional land based casinos and operators continue to do brisk business in the country, betting online is fast proving to be a popular draw particularly among the younger set, growing at an exponential rate. In a recently concluded study by Nielsen/NetRatings, the firm calculated a 140% growth in the number of Spanish participants in various online betting websites. While the early part of 2005 registered about 1.45 million online gamblers in the country, the figures today come in at well over 3.5 million during the same period. This trend in increased online gambling is a clear indicator that gambling and online betting related activities have managed to attract a younger Spanish clientele.
The betting software agreement between William Hill and Codere is seen by many as a very significant development in the local gambling industry, and this is expected to generate revenue for the government, many of which comes from traditional casino betting games and bingo, as well as betting shops and race tracks. It is expected that Codere will continue to provide traditional land-based gambling services to the Spanish market, while William Hill would focus on the previously unregulated online sports betting industry.