Spain have recently been in the news with various banks failing all over the shop and the threat of them leaving the Euro on the not-so-distant horizon - well it looks like the Spanish Government have hit upon a novel way of topping up their tax coffers: offer licences to gaming operators in return for them paying one off back-tax payments from when they'd previously taken on players from Spain without paying the right tax, plus continue to pay 25% tax on Spanish operations going forward.
A number of operators have decided to go ahead with this deal so far - the latest being Betfair who inked a deal that sees them pay €10m in back taxes up front. For the time being they will be unable to take on Exchange customers from Spain until special exchange licences are issued. In the mean time Spanish customers will be able to use Betfair's new sportsbook / fixed odds betting setup which is due to be made public within the next week (more on that later hopefully).
Other operators that have agreed to back tax payments in return for new licences include Bwin.party ($42m), Sportingbet ($22m) and 888 ($10m).
All of this is of vague interest to UK punters in as much as it could signal the start of a global change in attitude by Governments towards the way in which they treat gaming operators. I'd previously written about how the proposed legislation/regulatory reform by the UK government could lead to UK punters being sidelined by some operators due to the increased tax burden associated with taking on those UK based punters - the way things are starting to look, the UK's 15% point of consumption tax might not end up being such a bad thing after all...