Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ)

Online gambling is legal across Spain in accordance with the Spanish Act No. 13/2011, May 27, 2011 on the Regulation of Gambling, and the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego is the authority charged with regulating, licensing and supervising gambling activities at the state level. In accordance with the regulations, online gambling services can not be offered to Spanish residents by offshore companies operating on a foreign license. Any online gambling companies wishing to offer services in Spain must first obtain a license from the DGOJ.

Protect and serve

The primary functions of the DGOJ are to authorize and license online gambling activity, inspect the technical systems used to ensure that games are fair and secure, to protect the interests of players and to prevent and prosecute illegal gambling.

In order to achieve this, licensees are subject to a number of financial, legal and technical obligations, which they must be compliant with in order to operate legitimately. For example, a specific website registered under an ".es" domain must be used, and Spanish residents should be restricted from accessing any other domains offered by the operator. Additionally, the operator must register a Spanish bank account for the segregation of customer funds, and submit to regular inspections from the regulator. There are also restrictions regarding marketing - operators may only advertise on television or online between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. and bonuses - players must have been registered and verified for a minimum period of 1 month before a bonus can be offered to them.

By ensuring that only licensed operators and their services are accessible to players, the authority aims to guarantee that:

  • rules are clear and accessible to players
  • games are honest and fair
  • All funds are secure
  • underage gambling is prevented by the implementation of verification procedures.

Complaints

If a player wishes to raise a dispute regarding a licensed operator, they are recommended to first submit a complaint to that operator directly in accordance with their complaint procedure. Should the player disagree with the outcome of this procedure, or if a response has not been received from the operator within 1 month, the complaint can be escalated to the DGOJ.

Note:

Complaints will not be accepted by the DGOJ if they are regarding:

  • contractual matters, as these kind of disputes should be taken to the civil courts.
  • illegal gambling, for example operators which are not licensed by the DGOJ. These operators may be reported, but disputes witht them will not be addressed.
  • land-based gambling establishments.

Complants to the DGOJ must be lodged in writing, and there are two ways to to do this: online, via the complaints regarding gambling form, or by post, addressed to the DGOJ (C/ Atocha nº 3. 28012 Madrid). Once the complaint has been registered, the regulator will investigate the situation and where necessary, begin legal proceedings and notify other relevant authorities.

It is also possible for anyone (not just players) to submit a report to the DGOJ to inform them of operators whose activities may be considered harmful to players, such as those marketing online gambling in Spain via a ".com" domain, or without a valid license.

How to check a license

There is a list of all licensed operators on the DGOJ website, and it is possible to search through them by name or by website URL. You can also find a list of every URL operated by the licensees and if they have registered with the Phishing Alert Service to protect against identity theft.

list of licensed operators
Screenshot of the licensed operator search tool

Clicking on an individual operator will show a list of associated licenses and domains, as well as a list of any changes that have been applied to the license. As mentioned previously, all operators licensed in Spain must operate from a domain ending in ".es".

Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling in Spain is not a subject taken lightly, and The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón, has endorsed a number of new measures in recent years to help protect players. The DGOJ provides the website www.jugarbien.es, a portal dedicated to informing players and operators about issues related to gambling, as well as the measures that should be in place to promote responsible gambling. Examples of these measures include methods for players to control their gaming activities, such as deposit limits, and providing clear, visible links to self-exclusion and help centers.

responsible gambling portal
Jugarbien.es, the dedicated responsible gambling portal

Should a player wish to exclude themselves from all online gambling in Spain, there is the option of registering at the Registro General de Interdicciones de Acceso al Juego (RGIAJ). This is a national register of excluded players, and this list has to be consulted and checked by operators at the point of each registration to ensure players are not currently prohibited from creating an account with them. Once registered, the restriction will be in place for an indefinite period, although it can be removed by request after a minimum period of 6 months from the date of registration.

To request exclusion, You can download the RGIAJ form, complete it and submit it either in person at a national Police station or an approved registry, post office or other registration assistance offices in accordance with article 16.4 Law 39/2015, or via the website at the electronic office of the DGOJ.

self-exclusion form
Screenshot of the RGIAJ self-exclusion form

Contact Information

Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego

Address: C/ Atocha, 3 MADRID 28012

Tel: 91.571.40.80

Website: https://www.ordenacionjuego.es/

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