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Spain, DGOJ: 2023 online gambling sites fined 17 million euros in the second half of 81


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10 of the sites involved were deemed illegal and ordered closed

The Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ), in charge of supervising betting and gambling websites, sanctioned 17 websites in the second half of 2023 for serious or very serious violations with fines exceeding 81 million euros, according to data consulted by EL PAÍS. Ten of these sites are considered illegal and have been ordered closed; of particular importance is the case of the Spanish and European National Organization of the Disabled, accused of unfair competition by ONCE, which was fined 35 million euros and ordered to close for four years. Since this type of fine was made public in July 2021, 139 have been imposed for 333 million euros.

“These sanctions, which are already final, are very important to maintain a safe gambling environment,” he summarizes Mikel Arana, director general of Ordenación del Juego, under the Ministry of Social Rights, Consumer Affairs and Agenda 2030. “The fines on illegal operators are aimed at preventing illegal gambling in the Spanish market. Therefore, as soon as we identify them, we try to block them, because they are the gateway for minors or for people who have registered in the General Register of Gambling Access Bans – the register of self-prohibited people – and not they apply the gambling security measures in force in Spain,” continues Arana.

The very serious infringements correspond to online gambling operators operating without a license in Spain and who have been identified: Rabadi, Uno Digital Media, Eight Stars, Mrsloty Games Tech, Entretenimiento Rojo, Onyxion Malta, Trw Corporate, Vdsoft&Script Development or Uniquegame. For each of them there is a fine of five million euros and the closure of the website for two years. “Illegal gambling in Spain is less than 3%, we are leaders in Europe in blocking this type of pages, even if sometimes with some it is like playing cat and mouse, because we close them and they reopen them with a another name”, underlines Arana.

In this last period, there is a violation that stands out from the others: the National Organization of Spanish and European Disabled People (ONDEE). “It is a lottery operator that does not have a license, since the only ones that can do so are Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (LAE) and ONCE. We are talking about an organization that pretends to be ONCE and claims to sell lotteries when it cannot do so. Furthermore, it has a previous file that forces its dissolution. For this reason, the penalty is extraordinarily serious,” said the head of the DGOJ. The organization’s website is still active, but once the process is complete, it will be shut down.

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