When it comes to online poker Spain is a leading light in Europe. Even though it’s classed as a segregated market, it has provisions in place to facilitate liquidity sharing pacts with France, Portugal and Italy. With these pacts in effect, Spain’s poker economy has blossomed in recent years.
In this guide to online poker in Spain, we’ve outlined all the important legal bits, how to play and where you can play. Add to this some advice on bonuses and betting options, and you’ll be ready to party when you hit the felt. So, if you’re ready to experience poker Spanish style, let’s get this fiesta started.
Online Poker Spain Legislation
Is poker legal in Spain? Yes. Is online poker in Spain legal? Again, yes. Online poker Spain was legalised and regulated in 2011. However, unlike UK poker laws that allow players to connect with international playerpools, Spain’s regulations create a closed market. Similar to US poker rooms to a certain extent too.
The good news though is that Spain’s poker laws were updated in 2017. A liquidity sharing clause was added to the regulations. This means Spanish poker operators can share players with sister sites in France, Italy, and Portugal. So, while Spanish poker sites are somewhat insulated, they are able to offer cross border real cash games and tournaments.
In fact, there’s an additional clause within Spain’s poker regulations that allows international players to join the fiesta. If someone lives in a country that doesn’t have its own segregated market, they can join a dot.es poker site. Therefore, if you live in the UK and fancy some poker Spanish style, you can. However, this doesn’t mean Spanish players can join international sites.
Spanish poker laws include tax stipulations. In this country, operators are taxed on their profits rather than revenue, which is what happens in France. For individuals, poker winnings are taxable under the Spanish Gambling Act. Prior to 2012, all poker winnings, irrespective of losses, was taxable. However, a review in 2012 changed the law. Today, Spanish poker players pay tax on net winnings (i.e. after losses have been deducted. Tax rates in Spain range from 19% up to 26% for amounts over €200,000.
Best Places to Play Poker in Spain
Now we’ve established that poker Español (aka poker in Spain) is legal, where can you play? There are four main poker online networks in Spain:
- PokerStars Spain
- 888Poker Spain
- Partypoker Spain
- iPoker Spain (home to sites such as Bet365.es)
Anyone that’s been around the industry for a while will know that these brands are four of the biggest in the business. In fact, other than GGPoker, the above list contains four of the five largest poker networks in the world. So, in this regard, online poker in Spain has a lot to offer in all departments.
As we noted earlier, Spanish poker regulations allow for liquidity sharing pacts to be formed. However, the way in which they’re formed and, in turn, their effectiveness will depend on the operator. For example, PokerStars Spain has a thriving network that covers Spain, France and Portugal. Partypoker Spain has a similar system in place but it’s not as successful.
As for 888Poker.es and iPoker, the former is yet to return to France but it does share players between Spain and Portugal. The latter, if we’re honest, has fairly low levels of activity, but it does share players between France and Spain. Overall, you’ll find enough action at every Spanish poker room. However, thanks to a liquidity sharing pact that covers three countries, PokerStars.es is Spain’s largest site.