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Sportingbet, 888 and bwin.party Awarded Spanish Licences

First Trance of Licences Awarded in Newly Regulated Market

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bwin.party has been awarded a licence to offer online poker in Spain.

Sportingbet and 888 have also confirmed receipt of Spanish online gaming licences.

Update PokerStars has also been granted a licence to offer online poker. The company said, “We are happy to confirm that PokerStars was today granted a license to operate in Spain and we plan to launch www.PokerStars.es on June 5th. For now, Spanish players can continue to compete on www.PokerStars.com as normal and don’t need to take any action”.

As expected the online betting companies, who recently paid back taxes to Spanish authorities to clear the way for receiving the licences, were among the first to be granted the OK to operte in the newly regulated market.

Sportingbet, which had its websites shut down by a Spanish court earlier this year, said it was “in the process of filing an application with the Commercial Court no.10 in Madrid to have the remaining parts of the injunction cancelled.”

The company also said that, “Obtaining the Spanish eGaming licence marks the latest step in the Company’s stated strategy of increasing the proportion of the Group’s gaming revenue from regulated markets.

888’s chief executive officer, Brian Mattingley, said, "Spain is an important market for 888, accounting for 5% of our revenue in 2011.

“We believe that the future of the online gaming industry is in regulated, legitimate and safe online gaming environments, and we believe we have the right offering to gain significant market share."

Co-CEOs of bwin.party,Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger,said, "Our aim is to secure market-leading positions in all five products through leveraging the inherent strength of our two prime brands, PartyPoker and bwin, which has attained high consumer awareness through its sponsorship of Real Madrid, and also through a new, localised brand called Binguez.

“Our launch in Spain will also be a key merger integration milestone for bwin.party as all of the three sites’ products will be hosted on a new, technologically advanced and fully integrated gaming platform that will enhance the consumer’s gaming experience.”

Around 4 percent of the bwin.party’s revenues in 2011 were generated in Spain.