Spain has finally regulated its market after the expected and not shocking mini shambles it turned out to be but was it worth for Spanish poker players and the licenced sites? The sites may say yes but the Spanish players who stick by the rules and to the official sites may say a big no.
Shooting pescado in a barrel
The big poker news for the regulated Spain market is that its residents who play on the legal sites can only play against other Spanish players. The whole regulated country has been ring fenced. Unlike with some of the other regulated markets if you play through PokerStars.es you will not be playing against the usual PokerStars player database. The same for the larger poker networks where there will only be a few licenced sites/skins pooling their Spanish players together.
“Spain is home to some of the best poker players in the world,” said Juan Manuel Pastor, a member of the Spanish Team PokerStars Pro. “I’m looking forward to playing on PokerStars.es and competing against players from across the country.”
We are sure you are Amigo! And those best poker players in the world will be crying with tears of joy and laughing all the way to El Banko. All those crazy and fishy players to yourselves with no Skandi and European sharks to join the feeding frenzy.
Share the wealth?
For smaller independent sites and networks the ring fencing can mean no point going into the Spanish online poker market. Even for some of the larger sites there is no point due to the bribes they had to pay the Spanish Government in the form of a back tax. For example Betfair have stopped providing poker to residents of Spain so they do not have to share their wealth with the Spanish Government.
For those poker sites who went the legal and regulated route the short term pain of paying the bribes, setting up there es site, migrating players over … targeting a bankrupt country with 40% unemployment must have short and long term benefits.
Share the wealth!
With few sites being able to or wanting to pay the Spanish bribe there is less competition in the regulated Spain online poker market compared to non regulated markets like the world poker market.
Having a licensed Spain poker site is like paying a membership fee to an exclusive club where you have a larger share of the captive market than you would normally expect in an unregulated and open market.