The Spanish Ministry of Finance has announced that, after much delay, Spain’s new online gaming regulations will come into effect from June 1st 2012. From this date, it will become illegal to operate an unlicensed gambling company in Spain and license applicants will discover whether or not they have been successful.

New laws regarding online gambling in Spain were passed back in February 2011, but a series of delays, designed to allow regulators sufficient time to properly review all license applications, meant that the new regulations have still not come into effect.

More than 60 of the world’s largest online gambling companies applied for licenses to operate in Spain, including PokerStars, Ladbrokes and Groupe Bernard Tapie, who recently failed in their bid to take over Full Tilt Poker.

It had been hoped that the beginning of 2012 would mark the start of the new online gaming regulations, but a further delay suggested that both gamblers and operators alike would have to wait until the end of June 2012 before witnessing any online gambling in Spain. However, the Spanish Ministry of Finance stated yesterday that the new laws would come into effect from June 1st 2012.

At this point, license applicants will be informed of a decision regarding the success or failure of their applications, while it will officially become illegal to operate an unlicensed online gambling company in Spain.

Experts have high hopes for the future of gambling in Spain, with a recent report suggesting that by 2015, the online gambling market will have grown to around €680 million. The Spanish government have set taxes for online gambling at 25%, which is a more attractive rate than in nearby France, and is the reason behind so many giants of the online gambling world competing to enter the market.