All forms of online gaming are regulated by the Spanish government. Legislation passed in 2012 sought to control the industry, provide player protections and get a piece of the action by way of taxes. Spain is now a member of the growing club of countries that regulate and license internet gambling.
Bingo sites in Spain are headquartered in the country and are subject to the law of the land. What this means for you, the player, is that these are safe places to play for real money. They are monitored by government regulators and are regularly audited for fairness, safety and financial health.
The best Spanish bingo website today is:
Gambling Law in Spain
Online gaming laws in Spain changed in a big way in 2012 with the passage of a new piece of legislation. The bill legalized online gambling with the caveat that any site operating inside Spain must have a proper license and a website registered with a .es domain. It also explained which forms of betting are permitted and how licensed sites are expected to operate.
Prior to 2012, the autonomous regions of Spain were free to regulate gambling and online bingo as they saw fit. It was a mess of laws that changed from one region to the next and resulted in a large “quasi-legal” market in which international sites operated fairly freely across the country but without the express consent of the government.
Lawmakers were reasonable when drafting the 2012 law in that they gave existing grey market operators a grace period to either conform to the new law or exit the market. The new law also did not seek to punish existing operators for their past acceptance of Spanish players. In that way, the legislation was good for the industry.
On the other side of the coin, the legislation was bad for the industry in two keys areas. First, the law segregated Spanish customers from the rest of the world. This isn’t a big deal for casino games and sports betting, but it has a negative impact on online poker by greatly limited the potential player pool. Spanish poker players at licensed poker rooms can now only play at tables with other people from Spain.
The second key problem with the legislation was its complete failure to address online bingo. Shortly after the bill was passed, there was a flurry of news articles that stated online bingo was now banned in Spain. The wording of Spanish legislation made it appear that any form of gaming not specifically mentioned was effectively banned as there is no way to obtain a license to offer that game.
Those early reports ended up being more fear than fiction as there are now a number of legal bingo sites that operate openly in Spain.
- Companies must acquire a license from Spain to offer online gambling
- Website must be registered with a .es domain
- Bingo was not specifically mentioned in the most recent legislation
- Licensed operators are allowed to offer internet bingo in Spain
- Some offshore bingo sites still accept Spanish customers without the license
In any heavily regulated country, there are always options to take your game offshore and play at unlicensed sites. Unlicensed sites accept players from all countries and offer the advantage of greater game selection but at the cost of less trust. You have to be careful when playing at unlicensed sites as there is no legal recourse if things go wrong or you suspect foul play.
I don’t believe it’s worth the risk at this point to take your business offshore. Since all the big offshore operators prohibit Spanish residents from playing, that leaves a whole lot of small, lesser-known sites of questionable quality. It’s best to stick with licensed operators for now.
Major Bingo Sites that Don’t Accept Players from Spain
There’s a good deal of misinformation on the internet about which sites do and which sites don’t accept players from Spain. Online gaming laws in Spain are fairly restrictive and there are a number of big-name bingo websites that do not accept customers from the country.
The following internet bingo rooms do NOT accept customers from Spain:
- Foxy Bingo
- Wink Bingo
- Mecca Bingo
- Party Bingo (they do operate Binguez.es however)
Spanish Language Sites
Online bingo is mostly restricted in Spain but at least one of the major websites offer Spanish language games for speakers in other parts of the world. If you’d prefer to conduct your bingo in Spanish, you can look for the word “idioma” near the top of the page and select “Español” to get the Spanish language version.
From there, you can sign up for an account and play bingo in your native language. There’s no guarantee the other players will chat with you in Spanish, but at least you can manage your account, make deposits and initiate withdrawals in the right language.