A court ruling in Spain has declared that PokerStars has done nothing wrong and has in fact been operating fully legally in the country ever since it first started to offer its poker services back in 2001. The Barcelona court ruled in complete favour of the online poker outlet after a Spanish land based gaming company called “Codere” had claimed PokerStars were not in fact legal.
The Spanish gaming company has launched a whole series of cases against a large number of online gaming firms; they are complaining that all of these sites had been operating in an illegal manner before the new gaming laws came in back in June of this year.
Online poker is now fully legal in Spain since the new regulation has come in to play, but Codere are arguing that if it is now legal, then it couldn’t have been before June of this year.
The court however was in agreement with PokerStars who have claimed that although there is now a law allowing online gambling in the country, there was never in fact a law “not” allowing it in the first place. PokerStars actually released their own press release today confirming the result and stating “because the lack of regulation meant that there was no relevant law preventing such activity”.
Many other big sites have been targeted by Codere, with the results now looking like they will go the same way. Precedence has now been set so it seems very difficult for them to get any joy.
When the new online gaming regulations came in June, Codere themselves were given a gaming license, yet their own poker room has struggled to compete with PokerStars who hold a massive 65% of the online market in this niche in Spain. They feel that they are being punished by doing everything by the book, whilst others are being let off. However, as the ruling states, there was no law in place to say that any of these companies were in fact doing anything wrong; it is just that now there is no question over the matter.
There were 50 licenses handed out as part of the new regulations which have allowed online gaming and gambling in the country. PokerStars didn’t take long to try and corner the market, straight away signing up Spanish tennis legend Rafa Nadal to help promote the site. It has obviously worked wonders though PokerStars were always likely to be at the top simply due to their name and size.