Two weeks before the new laws governing the online poker market in Spain are due to take effect, the industry has been thrown into chaos, with the possibility that Spanish players may end up with nowhere to play beginning June 1, 2012.
Titan Poker is one of many big-named poker sites that pulled out of the market recently, freezing out new real-money players from Spain until it is able to obtain a license in the Spanish market.
Among those sites that had been expected to continue as fully-licensed operators in the new regulated market, the most prominent have now been hit by demands for taxation of up to 25 percent on profits made in the unregulated market in previous years. Poker sites have been asked to pay back taxes on their profits as a condition of being granted licenses to operate starting June.
The move may be unsurprising, given the struggle of the Spanish government to balance its books, but it will give poker sites serious thoughts as to whether it is economically viable to continue pursuing licenses to operate in Spain.
If market-leading companies like Titan Poker decide not to proceed, that will leave Spanish players with little choice other than to play in unregulated sites, many of which may face legal challenges to prevent them from offering their services to Spanish customers. Any new site will be required to seek the appropriate regulatory approval.
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