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Retroactive Tax Bill May Foil Spanish Online Players

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In just three weeks, the first licenses for the newly regulated online poker industry in Spain will be issued. However, the government has put forth new demands that threatens the availability of service providers in the country.

When the new Gaming Act was passed back in February 2011, all companies were to pay a back tax from July 2011.  This has since been changed and the government is now arguing that additional back taxes must be paid from 2008 onwards. This has the possibility of forcing companies to back out of the market due to high expenses. It has been suggested that bwin.party would owe over €60 million and PokerStars would owe well over €200 million.

PokerStars has not yet made an announcement on whether they will continue operating in the Spanish market, they have reached out to the larger communities in the region to see if they can come up with a business plan that will benefit everyone involved.