Pursuant to the information posted in the European Commission’s website, yesterday the Spanish authorities did notify the draft decrees on slots and exchange betting to Brussels. Such a notification is made in order to fulfill the obligations deriving from Directive 98/34. Said Directive sets forth a procedure which imposes an obligation upon the Member States to notify to the Commission and to each other all the draft technical regulations concerning products and Information Society Services before they are adopted in national law.
This procedure should be completed within a three-month term (unless any Member State files a detailed opinion on the notified regulations, something that currently appears to be unlikely), so the process should be completed by June 19.
This timing appears to be aligned with the intentions of the Spanish authorities, since they have announced that they would be willing to formally approve these new regulations by mid-2014 (late June or early July) and shortly afterwards launch a new tender for re-opening the Spanish market. At that moment operators will be entitled to apply for the corresponding licenses, which will be granted once the applicable requirements have been succesuflly verified by the Spanish authorities.
This leads to a scenario where slot machine games and exchange betting should be made available to the players by the end of 2014 (once the above-mentioned licenses have been granted).