Best Spanish Poker Rooms

Introduction to Spanish Poker Sites

At the moment, Spanish poker sites are in a state of flux. Currently, Spanish players may play on any number of internationally popular poker sites, none of which are specifically regulated in Spain itself.

However, this situation will soon change dramatically. In 2011, the Spanish government passed sweeping legislation that will create a nationally regulated online gambling market. This will bring about some dramatic changes to the online poker scene in the country, which will likely include both positive and negative changes for Spanish poker players. While no licenses have yet been awarded, it is likely that players will see the first nationally-regulated Spanish poker sites operating within the next few months. For now the best poker sites for Spanish players are listed below.

Bets Spanish Poker Sites

Rank Site Download Mac Linux Bonus Visit Site
1 888 Poker $600 www.888poker.comRead Review
2 Bet365 Poker www.bet365.comRead Review

2011 Spanish Online Poker Regulations

In early 2011, the Spanish government released an early draft of iGaming regulations that would have put some very serious restrictions on how poker rooms could operate within the country. As in Italy, France, and several other European nations, operators would now have to create special .es poker sites that would be licensed by the Spanish government.

While that was a fairly standard step in national poker regulation, some of the restrictions that would have been placed on the players and games allowed were quite unusual. In the initial version of the regulations, players would only be able to buy in for 30 big blinds at any poker table, only Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Stud games would have been allowed, strict deposit limits would have been enforced, and a forced stop-loss of 75% would prevent players from continuing to play if they lost over three-quarters of their account balance in a single day.

However, after complains from the Spanish online poker community, these regulations were significantly relaxed. Under the current form of the law, players may buy in for up to 100 big blinds at a poker table, with a maximum big blind of €10 allowed. Tournament buy-ins are allowed up to a maximum of €250. In addition, the daily, weekly and monthly restrictions on deposits were relaxed slightly, though the monthly limit is still €3,000. However, players may now petition for larger deposit limits (possibly requiring a test of a player’s responsibility or other factors).

While the regulations have been finalized, no licenses have yet been awarded to operators as of March 2012. This means that the regulations are not yet in effect, though dozens of operators are said to have applied for licenses, and many of the operators may be ready to offer games the moment that licenses are awarded.

Can Players from Outside Spain Play on Spanish Poker Sites?

One aspect of the Spanish regulations that differ from those of many of their European neighbors is the welcoming of international players on licensed Spanish sites. This means that players from throughout the EU and around the world will be able to play on the .es versions of poker sites if they choose to do so.

Can Spanish Players Play on Unlicensed Sites?

The newest Spanish regulations do not permit Spanish online poker players to play on unregulated or foreign sites — at least not when the licensing system first begins. The regulations do include provisions that may allow Spanish players to participate at sites regulated by other governments in the near future, however, including those regulated in France and Italy.

That said, this restriction will not be put into place overnight, either. The law states that players may continue to play at international sites until at least June 30. If no licenses have officially been issued at that point, players may continue to play internationally until the first license is awarded.

It is unclear what, if any, steps the Spanish government will take to attempt to prevent Spanish players from participating on unlicensed sites once this “grace period” concludes. It remains likely that, as in many other regulated markets, foreign operators will continue to allow players from Spain to participate if they choose to do so. In most nations, players in this position have not been prosecuted or targeted by their governments for choosing to play on these sites, even if the law states that they cannot do so; however, it is impossible to say how these laws will be enforced in Spain until the licensed sites are up and running.

Online Poker Taxation in Spain

While the new online poker regulations do include taxation rules for operators, it does not appear that they will affect the tax situation for poker players. Currently, Spanish law does levy a tax on gambling winnings that were won in foreign countries, but does not tax winnings from inside of Spain. While it would be best to talk to a tax professional to decide how this would apply to online gambling winnings, it is likely that sites regulated under Spanish licenses would fall into the “inside Spain” provision and be free of taxes, while winnings at foreign sites would be considered taxable.

Future Outlook of Online Gambling in Spain

Given that the Spanish government was willing to listen to player concerns are take those issues into account when restructuring their online poker laws, it is quite possible that Spanish online gambling laws will continue to be liberalized in the future. There’s certainly no guarantee of exactly what will happen in the next few months or years, though many sources say that the first licenses for Spanish poker sites will be awarded sometime in Spring 2011.

Given that the law already contains provisions that may allow players to participate on at least some foreign poker sites in the future, Spain appears to be rather open to the idea of being a part of an international poker community — at least, eventually. While it is difficult to speculate on just how far the Spanish government would be willing to take this, it may eventually be possible for Spain’s regulated poker sites to share player pools with other such sites in other countries, increasing player pools and bringing sites closer to the way they were before national licensing programs such as this one were put into place.

Online Poker Legality and Restrictions for Poker Players from Spain

Spain is right up there with the United Kingdom when it comes to catering to gamblers, including poker players. Licensing brick & mortar casinos since 1977, gambling has long had an influence on Spaniards. Spain has been working on comprehensive online poker legislation since the early 2000’s, but it wasn’t until 2009 that legislation was finally brought to a vote, allowing online gaming sites to apply for licenses, so long as they were located within EU borders.

Therefore, Spanish online poker players can hit the tables without fear of prosecution or the possibility of violating the law.