While some poker companies such as Betfair and Bwin.Party are trying to expand into European territory, with a particular effort at getting into the German market, other poker companies it would seem are leaving.
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Bodog is the poker company in question and it is not leaving voluntarily; instead it is being made to exit the Spanish poker market. Bodog has been ordered to pack up shop and remove its business from Spain by June. And they have sent out an email to their players accordingly stating, “We would like to inform you that due to recent regulatory changes, we are no longer able to offer our betting or wagering services to residents of Spain or Spanish territories. Your account will be disabled on the 31st of March 2012 and as of today; you are no longer able to make any further deposits to your account.”
This notice to Bodog was issued on the heels of a change in gaming policy in the region. After spring, Spain decided that only licensed poker and gambling sites were to be allowed to practice in the region and had issued a notice to them demanding that all gambling enterprises in Spain stop catering to customers by June which has been set a cut off date. Only licensed poker sites will be allowed to serve Spanish customers legally after June.
Another gambling site that will be exiting the market is the sports betting site, Sportingbet which also has been ordered to leave. Other gambling companies that will be moving from Spain include Miapuesta.es and Miapuesta.com. The two gambling sites were requested to close down by the authorities in the month of March. The courts in Spain issued a ruling that demanded unlicensed and unauthorized sites to leave the country. “Any offering of gaming or betting activity that has not been granted a prior administrative authorization is indisputably prohibited,” the notice stated.
So far, Spain has received several applications from major poker rooms, sports betting sites and online casinos for permission to operate within the country and cater to Spanish customers legally. Among these 60 or so applications, Spain has been targeted by popular poker companies like Paddy Power, Bet365, Ladbrokes, Bwin.party, Betfair and 888.
Spain has been taking its time issuing authorizations and licenses to companies and poker rooms to operate in the region and has been criticized for its late response. So far, there has been a 6 month delay in the granting of licenses and all these poker rooms are waiting on permission to enter the Spanish market legally.

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