How We Find Legal and Safe Spanish 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 online bookmakers offer only casino and some only offer online sports betting.
To bet online legally in Spain, you must open an account with an internet bookmaker that uses a .es domain name and is licensed by the Spanish gambling regulator, Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ).
You will know they are licensed because the logo shown below will be visible at the bottom of their website. It should also be easy to find their sports betting license details. For example: Apuestas No/Ref: 13/GA/1002 is the code for BWIN’s licence to accept sports bets in Spain.
How to Bet Online in Spain
To bet at one of our recommended bookmakers, you’ll need to first register an account.
Don’t worry if you’re new to betting online and do not know where to begin. Follow our step-by-step guide below to create an account at one of our favourite Spanish betting sites and place your first bet.
The Advantages of Mobile Betting in Spain
Mobile compatibility is one of the key factors to consider when choosing an online bookmaker.
Nowadays, most sports betting sites develop their websites using HTML5 technology. This means the layout you see when accessing the desktop version adjusts to fit screens on smartphones and tablets. You can access the site via your mobile browser and log in just as you would from your desktop. The same betting markets and options are available, with the only difference being the layout.
However, the best sports betting apps offer an even better experience. Most online bookmakers offer iOS and Android betting apps you can download for free from the App Store or Google Play.
These betting apps require little storage space and allow you to log in with one tap of the screen. You can quickly log in and take advantage of live betting opportunities as they present themselves. The flexibility of mobile betting also means you can bet where and when you want – whether you’re travelling on the train or watching the action unfold in person.
How Do You Bet on Spanish Football?
Online betting in Spain goes hand in hand with football. As you’re about to discover, you can bet on La Liga, El Clásico, the Champions League and every international fixture involving Spain.
The best sports betting sites in Spain offer football coupons for markets like home/away/draw (1X2), over/under goals, and handicap betting. You’ll also find dozens of betting markets for total corners and bookings, and even special bets such as which goalkeeper will touch the ball last.
Here’s a look at some of the most popular betting markets for Spanish football:
The Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División, or La Liga as it’s more commonly known, is the top professional football league in Spain. The 20-team league comprises European heavyweights such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, and features superstars like Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos. Spanish bookies also offer Premier League betting markets and accept bets on other leagues around the globe.
When Spanish football giants Barcelona and Real Madrid face off in El Clásico, the entire world watches. The matches take place at least twice a season and are broadcast in over 185 countries. Unsurprisingly, this huge Spanish sporting occasion is extremely popular with bettors. The best Spanish bookmakers offer a vast range of betting markets and generous promotions that only add to the excitement.
Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are usually amongst the favourites when bookmakers release their Champions League betting odds. Real Madrid holds the record for most victories, having won the competition 13 times. Barcelona has won the annual European football competition five times. Atlético Madrid has lost three Champions League finals to date, while Valencia has lost in two finals.
La Furia Roja
Commonly referred to as “La Furia Roja” (the Red Fury), the Spanish national team has been one of the most dominant national teams in the world. Spain won the FIFA World Cup for the first time in South Africa in 2010, the first time they reached the final, thanks to an extra time goal from Andrés Iniesta. The Red Fury has won the UEFA European Championship (Euros) three times (1964, 2008, 2012).
Other Popular Sports for Betting in Spain
Although football is by far the most popular sport in Spain, betting enthusiasts like to watch and bet on plenty of other sports.
You will find a huge range of sports at each of our recommended Spanish betting sites, covering everything from the latest basketball and tennis fixtures to cycling races and major esports events.
The best online betting sites in Spain offer competitive odds on the Liga ACB, the top division of the Spanish basketball league system. The competition comprises 18 teams, including the likes of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Spanish basketball stars such as Pau and Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio and Sergio Rodríguez all honed their skills in the domestic league before attracting the attention of NBA teams.
Spain is the birthplace of Rafael Nadal, one of the greatest tennis players of all time. The ‘King of Clay’ has won the Madrid Open five times, and 13 of his 20 Grand Slam titles have been won at the French Open. Veteran Spanish players like Carlos Moya and David Ferrer were forces to reckon with in the early 2000s, while female players like Garbiñe Muguruza and Sara Sorribes Tormo also represent Spain.
Along with the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a España makes up cycling’s prestigious, three-week-long Grand Tours. Spanish bookmakers offer competitive odds on the annual multi-stage race, which takes riders through the Pyrenees and ends in Madrid. Roberto Heras holds the record for most victories with four, while fellow Spaniard Alberto Contador and Swiss Tony Rominger have three victories.
Esports teams such as G2 Esports and Origen have Spanish roots, and more players and teams are entering the competitive sport every day. Spanish bookmakers recognise the growing popularity of esports around the world and offer competitive odds on a range of games. From CS:GO betting to bets on FIFA, Dota 2 and League of Legends (LoL), you can bet on all the action while watching live streams.
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 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 get 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.
Spain Betting FAQs
Although dozens of sports betting sites legally accept Spanish customers, some sites are better than others. At SBO.net, we have compiled a list of the best online betting sites in Spain. We only give our seal of approval to sites that offer generous bonuses, competitive odds, and lots of betting markets.
Yes, the Spanish gambling and sports betting market was regulated in 2011 by Law 13/11. Legal bookmakers in Spain must use a .es domain and successfully apply for an operating license from the Spanish gambling regulator, Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ).
Spanish betting sites accept a variety of payment methods. The cashier will list payment methods such as credit and debit cards from Visa and Mastercard, e-wallets such as PayPal and Skrill, prepaid vouchers like paysafecard, and many sites also accept deposits via the offline payment service Teleingresso.
Many holidaymakers ask us whether they can bet online as they soak up the sunshine. Although there are many UK betting apps that work in Spain, some sites may direct you to the Spanish version of their website or restrict access to your account due to local licensing requirements.