The History of Sports Betting in Spain
The Spanish government has had a relaxed stance on betting for many years. For decades you could find betting shops that were set up to take wagers from Brits, and while illegal, no one bothered with them. Online betting was unregulated and open, so players used websites such as Unibet and BWIN in order to place bets online.
The laws began changing in 2008 when legal betting shops that targeted Spaniards opened in Madrid. As this evolved, the government saw the growing need to regulate online betting.
New laws were quickly passed and in 2012 many sites such as Unibet and Pinnacle Sports left the Spanish market, while other sites were forced to either obtain a Spanish licence or follow suit and leave.
While Unibet leaving the market was unfortunate, the most popular gambling site in Spain www.bwin.es has obtained a license and is now legal to use. BWIN even began sponsoring Real Madrid back in 2008 and was their on-shirt sponsor until the 2012-2013 season.
This gave them great exposure in Spain making them perhaps the largest betting site in the market. This happened before they were Spanish licensed. La Liga sponsorship has long been used by gambling sites to attract business. This continued with the regulated market as Sevilla FC was also sponsored by popular European betting site Interwetten.
How We Find Legal and Safe Bookmakers
Since the Spanish Gambling Act was introduced in 2011, operators need a separate licence for each gambling product they offer. As a result, some bookmakers offer only casino and some only offer sports betting.
To bet online legally from Spain, you need to open an account with an internet bookmaker that uses a .es domain name and is licensed by Juego Seguro.
You will know they are licensed because the logo shown right is listed on the bottom part of their website. Also, if searching their website you should find their sports betting license details. For example: Apuestas No/Ref: 13/GA/1002 is the code for BWIN’s licence to take sports bets.
All Spanish bookmakers recommended at SBO.net hold licences from Juego Seguro, so you can rest assured you are secure and betting legally.
How to Bet Online
To bet at one of our recommended bookmakers, you’ll need to first register an account. During the registration processes you’ll need to enter your DNI number (this is found on your Documento nacional de identidad, or in English your National ID Card). You might also be asked to email a scanned copy of your DNI/NIE at a later date.
This is to simply used to verify your identity. Remember Spanish sites are legal and heavily regulated. Here you can be assured of fair treatment, but large wins will be reported to the Spanish tax authority (Agencia Tributaria). This shouldn’t be a concern as a safe betting environment is provided.
After opening your account you’ll need to make a deposit to start betting. There are many options for this. Most Spanish betting sites accept deposits made with MasterCard, VISA or with e-wallets such as PayPal and Skrill.
When you have made a deposit with one of our recommended bookmakers, you will be able to access some of Spain’s best bets that include outstanding odds and free bet bonus codes.
At any time, if you wish to cash out your winnings, or full balance, you can simply request a withdrawal that is usually processed within a few days.
The Most Popular Sports
Spain loves sport and there are a huge range of sports and markets available at our recommended Spanish betting sites. Sports often found at Spanish bookmakers include:
- Formula 1
- American Football
- Combat sports
When you drill down in the menu you’ll find that for each sport the leagues covered and wagering options are massive. Online betting in Spain goes hand in hand with football. You can bet on La Liga, the English Premier League, Serie A from Italy, Bundesliga from Germany and leagues from more than four-dozen other countries.
On all matches from these leagues it is possible to bet on home/away/draw (1X2), over/under on goals, as well as handicap betting. You’ll also find dozens of propositions such as total corners, bookings and even exotic bets such as which goalkeeper will touch the ball last.
Most betting sites in Spain also offer live betting. It doesn’t matter where the sport is from, at most times of the day or night there are several dozen matches available for in-play wagering.
This could be a Rafael Nadal tennis match currently in progress or it could be for a football or basketball match. For basketball this might be Liga ACB, NBA from the United States, or even PBA from the Philippines. Most Spanish sites are very proud of their live betting coverage, as well as how many markets they offer.
Is Online Betting Popular in Spain?
Legal regulated online betting is relatively new to the market and many sports fans might not even be aware it exists. One thing is sure however; there is no doubt it will catch on in a hurry.
Spain has some of the best players in the world competing on the international scale. Spaniards Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer in Tennis, Jorge Lorenzo in Moto GP, Fernando Alonso in Formula 1 and Pau Gasol in Basketball are just the tip of the iceberg.
Where Spain really takes pride is football. La Furia Roja has been one of the most dominant national teams in the world recently and has three major championships in recent years. Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012.
When Spanish football giants Barcelona and Real Madrid face off in El Clásico, the whole world watches. The matches, that take place at least twice a season, are broadcast in over 185 countries.
Recent fixtures have seen lots of surprises and been dominated by Barcelona. The Catalan club have not experienced defeat in El Clásico since 2016 and humiliated their great rivals by beating them 5-1 in October 2018.
Unsurprisingly, this huge Spanish sporting occasion is very popular with bettors. Bookmakers offer a huge range of markets that only adds to the excitement.
Spain Betting FAQs
Yes. It’s completely legal and secure to place bets with a range of bookmakers online. If you sign up to a new site you may be able to claim bonuses.
Sign up at your favourite betting site using your DNI/NIE number, make a deposit with your preferred banking method, find your bet and place your wager.
There are a huge number of football betting markets and all major bookmakers offer odds on Spanish leagues. Visit a betting site and take a look at what they offer to get started.
There are lots of very good betting sites available to Spanish residents. To protect yourself, ensure that your site holds a licence from Juego Seguro.