A New Haven For Online Gambling Operators?

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated May 4, 2018

Proposed Spanish government tax cuts make Spain’s Moroccan enclaves an attractive alternative

The autonomous Spanish cities of Melilla and Ceuta, situated on small enclaves on the Moroccan coast across the Mediterranean from Gibraltar, could become attractive online gambling hubs if Spanish tax proposals are accepted, according to an assessment by Spanish legal experts Loyra Abrogados.

The rationale for further tax breaks in these small formerly freeport enclaves is unclear, but speculation is that the initiative could be tied to Brexit and the changes that may be in prospect regarding Gibraltar as an online gambling tax haven and regulatory jurisdiction.

The continued access deal between Gibraltar and the UK lasts through to 2020 – not exactly a far horizon.

The amendments also present the opportunity for operators to gain access to the burgeoning Spanish online gambling market.

The proposed tax changes are included in Spain’s Draft National Budget this year and could result in a more than fifty percent reduction in the tax rate on GGR generated by online gambling companies, particularly if they are prepared to physically locate to the two coastal cities.

The budget must be finalised soon, as it goes into effect at the start of the nation’s fiscal year on July 1 2018.

The present rate for fixed odds sports betting and online gambling is 25 percent of GGR, but this would be cut to 20 percent…and right down to just 10 percent where an operator relocates to either of the two cities.

Loyra Abogados cautions that the tax cuts still have to pass a final approval process through the political system.


Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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