ut online gambling has been a service that many EU members have found difficult to regulate in a manner consistent with the European Treaty, and Spanish new gaming laws are a case in point.
The basis for EU requirements is even competitive conditions, with members treating each others' commerce as their own and without discrimination favoring domestic operators. But Spain's gambling tax give breaks to players winning at lotteries and other gaming based inside the country.
Foreign operators offering similar gambling games face their patrons in Spain being required to pay the full slate of taxes, giving players a big incentive to gamble at domestic sites. Spanish officials say the tax exemption applies only to organizations connected to charitable events and organizations. But the European Court of Justice ruled recently that foreign-based gaming companies with charitable links should then be afforded the same deal.
Spain must now consider reworking its gambling law, or else risk infringement charges by the Court. However, the number of nations risking infringement penalties grows, as the EC wheels turn slowly. France, Germany and Italy all are under investigation for applying rules determined inconsistent with their online gambling requirements from the EU.