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Spain – Online poker down by 40 per cent in Spain

By - 10 May 2016

According to the latest report published by The Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) online poker generated revenues of €60m during 2015 – a 40 per cent decrease compared to 2012 when online gaming was first regulated.

The figures were highlighted by President and founder of Jdigital Sacha Michaud – The Spanish trade association of digital gaming in a statement.

“If we go back to 2011, just before the sector was regulated, we see that online poker was one of the segments with the greatest potential with a progressive growth from 2007 to 2011, rising from €40m to overcoming the €100m barrier. However hasty regulation without taking into account certain repercussions changed the es. platform and Spain into an unattractive destination for players,” according to the statement. Sacha Michaud explained that: “The lack of international liquidity has changed poker into something a lot less fun and engaging both for amateurs who play for fun and for professionals. It is estimated that today there are around 200 Spanish professional players that are looking to make a living outside of our borders.”

Professional poker player Leo Margets said that many players were leaving Spain to play elsewhere and urged lawmakers to change legislation so that poker is recognised as a game of skill which would lessen the tax burden on players.

Meanwhile Michaud highlighted the fact that ring-fencing poker liquidity had harmed the local poker industry and that sharing pools of players with other countries could be carried out safely such as in Denmark and the United Kingdom.

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