In the terms previously announced by the Spanish Gaming Authority (Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego, “DGOJ”), the Ministerial Order HFP / 1227/2017, which approves the list of bases (14 bases) of the Third Call for Online Gaming General Licenses tender has been published in the Official State Gazette of December 16, 2017. Thus, the Tax Ministry complies with the commitments undertaken in September and establishes the conditions that applicants must meet, in accordance with the Spanish Gaming Law (Law 13/2011) and its developing regulations.

As in the previous calls, the General licenses that can be requested, in separate files, are three:

– General betting license.

– General license of “other games”.

– General license of contest.

Novelties are scarce with respect to the previous calls for tender. As in the previous ones, it is not a closed “tender” with limitation of licenses granted, to the contrary, any bidder that meets the requirements established in the bases, will be entitled to benefit from the granting of a General license.

The most relevant novelty, in addition to the notably longer term for submission of applications (one year), is the need to present a Fraud Prevention Manual, which will include a description of the procedures and measures to be implemented to identify fraudulent scenarios and their treatment. In addition, the applicant is required to declare other licenses obtained in other EU countries or the EEC, and grant authorization to the DGOJ to obtain information from those, in order to complete the investigation of the applicants.

Regarding the Operation Plan, the Ministerial Order introduces in the chapter on actions against pathological gaming and its prevention, the option of increasing the deposit limits with respect to those established by the regulation, or the elimination of these limits provided requirements and assurances are introduced by the operator. In the case of the removal of limits, an analysis of the profile and historical behavior of the player must be conducted.

As in previous Calls, the requesting entities must also announce if they intend to include as an additional channel of online game distribution the land based accessory terminals, and their insertion in the technical system.

Singular/Specific licenses

Simultaneously to the General license request, the processing of the Singular/Specific license may be initiated, and its granting shall be simultaneous as well.

During the one-year period it is expected that some of the characteristics of the Games regulated by the Singular/specific licenses Ministerial Orders will be amended, and even the approval of the regulation of some new Games.

Process requirements and conditions for obtaining licenses

The main characteristics and requirements for the processing of General licenses are the following:

Deadline for submission. It will begin on Sunday 17 December 2017, and conclude on Monday 17 December 2018, at 1:00 p.m. (as the 16 December, the last day of the term, is non-working, Article. 30.5 L 39/2015)

Electronic process. It is compulsory to process the submission through the Electronic portal of the DGOJ (www.dgojuego.minhap.gob.es), where the procedures will be enabled through information systems and several electronic functionalities for the presentation of documents and an electronic mailbox of notifications for the applicants. For this, the applicants or their representatives must have the usual electronic certification and accreditation instruments to establish the veracity and security of the documents. Subject to exceptional circumstances, interested parties don’t have to appear before the Registry or the DGOJ headquarters. However, certain documents must be physically submitted.

Duration of the file. In accordance with Regulation 1614/2011 a maximum period of 6 months for the granting of General license is established starting the submission in the Electronic portal. It must be taken into account that this term may be increased due to various legal circumstances. The Regulation does not establish the meaning of a possible administrative silence. The granting of the license will be communicated to the interested party and will also be published on the DGOJ’s website. Unlike the first and second Calls and given the long term for submission it does not seem logical that the granting of all license of the different operators be published the same day, but as the files are completed satisfactorily.

Corporate requirements. The entity who applies for the general license must be a public limited company or a limited liability company form with company address in a European Economic Area member state. It must have a sole corporate purpose to organize, market and operate gaming activities. Additionally, it must have a minimum total and paid-up share capital of €60,000 and be Registered in the Spanish Commercial Register. In the case of foreign companies,these must register in an equivalent registry, provided state legislation in the company’s legal seat requires it. The entity must register in in the special applicants’ section of the General Registry of Gaming Licenses. Should the registered office be abroad a permanent representative in Spain must be designated for communication and notification purposes.

– Reputational requirements. It must be credited through the relevant documents and so-called responsible declarations that the applicant does not fall under the impediments established by the Law 13/2011. That is, to be up to date of tax obligations and social security duties, not having been sanctioned or condemned in gaming related matters of, etc. Law 13/2011 expressly states that at the time of the request the applicant should not be making any illegal gaming offer into the Spanish territory. All these requirements extend even to persons or groups that have a direct or indirect control relationship, and even to the ultimate beneficial owner.

Technical requirements. A Technical Project report must be sumbited where the technical System is described according to the particularities that are established in Annex III of the General License Ministerial Order; a preliminary report issued on the Technical Project by a certifying entities designated by the DGOJ; a certification also issued by certifying entity on the location in Spain of the so-called “data warehouse/vault” of the Internal Control System; the list of domains under “.es” registered by the interested party that will be used; several so-called responsible declarations and diverse descriptions about the experience of the personnel and managers that will lead the business; The measures and procedures that will be adopted in the matter of Prevention of Money Laundering, Data and Privacy Policy; Also, a model of the gaming contract.

Economic Requirements and Guarantees: The applicant, must submit information on the accounts, balance sheets and audit reports of the last three years, if applicable. In addition, a warrantee in cash, real estate mortgage, insurance or security for an amount of €2,000,000 per each general license must be presented, safe General License for Contest which is €500,000. Those applicants who already have another General License other than the one being currently requested are excepted from this obligation and will have to update the guarantee later on

– Process fees. According to the Law 13/2011, processing fees are diverse: € 38,000 for technical system approval (previous Calls were interpreted as serving two or more General licenses if the Technical System was the same); € 10,000 for each application for a general (or singular/special) license; and € 2,500 for each entry in the Gaming Registry.

Provisional resolutions and approval of technical systems

As in the case of the previous Calls, the licenses will be granted on a provisional basis, although from the moment of granting, gaming operations can be launched immediately, with the commitment to submit, within 4 months, the Final Report of certification of the game technical systems, for the definitive homologation of the system.

Other concerns

Public documents issued by authorities of other States must be duly apostilled. It must also be borne in mind that all documents must be translated into Spanish. However, the translations must be official only when the DGOJ considers the document to be relevant.

Do not hesitate to contact us through patricia.lalanda@loyra.como or by contacting any of LOYRA’s partners should you need any additional information.

Madrid, December 16, 2017

Links:

To Ministerial Order HFP / 1227, of December 5. Call for General Licenses.

To the Resolution of the DGOJ of December 2017, of Singular/Special Licenses.