More than bullfighting and flamenco, Spain is better known for the top-quality football they produce both at a club and national team level. La Liga is, without a doubt, one of the strongest and spectacular football leagues on the planet and teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona or Atletico Madrid have dominated European football for extensive periods of time. It’s no surprise that when discussing top betting sites, Spain ranks very high as well. The perfect mix of a wealthy population and their love for football sees around 30% of Spaniards engaging in sports betting at least once per month. Add a very intelligent approach towards regulating the gambling industry in the country, and you get the perfect landscape for some of the best sports betting sites in Spain. We’re talking about a massive industry that grows tirelessly year after year and is expected to reach a total value of €1.1 billion by 2023. If you want to bet at the very best bookies in Spain, check out the rest of this article.
Like most countries in Europe, gambling has been part of the Spanish culture from the early days. The authorities maintained a relatively relaxed attitude towards it until the boom of online betting, around 2006. This is the moment when the Spanish government realised they needed to come up with the proper legislative approach to meet the global phenomenon. As early as 2006 the first Spanish Gambling Act was passed, making online betting legal nationwide. Despite this apparent positive approach, the 17 autonomous regions of Spain still had the liberty to impose their own restrictions. This meant that even for the best betting sites, Spain wasn’t yet a very lucrative market due to differences in requirements from one region to another.
If the online sportsbooks were still trying to figure out a way to become operational in the entire country, it was English betting sites in Spain that took the first step. William Hill quickly started to collaborate with local companies to open the first betting shops in 2008. And it was the big names in the industry, like William Hill, that played an important role in the revision of the 2006 Gambling Act. 2011 is the moment when the final and perfected form of the Gambling Act came into effect and the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego, Spain’s betting regulatory authority, was established. The act unified regulations across the regions and it made it easier for international bookies to apply for a 10-year license with the possibility of renewing it for another 10. Besides applying for a license, legal betting sites in Spain also need to pay a fee of €10,000 for each type of license they apply for, another €38,000 fee for the certification of all licenses. As for the annual fees paid by licensed bookmakers in Spain, it’s 20% applied on the Gross Gaming Revenue for companies registered across Spain, and a special 10% for bookies headquartered in the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. From 2011 onwards, the betting industry skyrocketed and, as a result, all the best football betting sites in Spain are offering excellent services for local punters.
We’ve already mentioned that Spain is home to some of the most successful bookmakers in the industry. So, in case you were wondering what betting sites can you use in Spain, get ready for a long list of top-quality sportsbooks. Naturally, odds quality should be the first thing to check when shopping for a new bookie. Online bookmakers in Spain also need to provide fast payouts and flexibility in payment options in order to remain competitive. Last but not least, a wide range of football markets is a must for bookmakers in Spain as fútbol is by a large margin the nation’s favorite sport. A fully-translated website and customer provided in Spanish are also nice touches, however, considering that these are mandatory conditions when applying for a license, we can’t really include them on the list of things that make a bookie special.
Out of all the bookmakers available in Spain, over 80% are foreign. If we’re talking about licensed bookies, there’s nothing preventing Spanish punters from accessing them and enjoying all the services offered. However, even before the regulation of the betting landscape, a blacklist with domains that were blocked by Internet Service Providers existed. These domains are still blocked, however, you can easily go around them through a VPN since nobody can actually police the internet. This also answers the question of how to use UK betting sites in Spain, even though most of them are already licensed so you will save yourself the trouble. The advantages of accessing foreign betting sites that did not apply for a local license are not that many. However, larger bookmaker bonuses and sometimes higher odds are definitely a worthwhile incentive.
Luckily for Spanish punters, the early regulation of the betting landscape did not impose any kind of restrictions concerning payment options. Among others, the licensed bookmakers also need to have a Spanish bank account so all types of deposit methods are accepted while the biggest bookmakers in Spain don’t require any fees on deposits or withdrawals. Having the liberty to choose from a wide range of payment options, punters prefer ewallets for versatility and transaction speed, with cards and bank transfers coming in second and third. All legal bookmakers in Spain deliver a healthy dose of payment options so that depositing and withdrawing will never be an issue.
Among the bookmakers that work in Spain after applying and acquiring a license, Betfair stands out as the number one betting exchange in the world. As it’s natural most Spanish punters who are willing to experience a betting exchange join Betfair. However, other exchanges like Smarkets or Betdaq are also accessible through VPN software, just as easily. While the odds are generally better at a betting exchange, you need to also take the commission into consideration and that’s why it’s recommended to stick with licensed exchanges only.
Complaints can be directed towards the DGOJ if you’re using one of the licensed Spain betting sites. Otherwise, if the bookie doesn’t have a local license, you can contact the authority that issued their license – the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, etc. We’re also here to help so you can drop us a message about any inconvenience and we will contact the bookmaker on your behalf.