Spain is struggling in almost all area's at the moment and their online gaming sector is no different. Spain decided to go with the Italian model for their regulated gaming, which means that only Spanish citizens will have access to the games and networks on the .es networks and sites.
The biggest problem has been that the traffic is very low in general and continues to decrease, despite several different efforts from the Spanish Direccion General de Ordenacion del Juego. Last year the .es market saw a 6% decline in revenues and so far this year the trend has continued.
New licenses will be issued to existing or new operators, who wants to expand their operations into new areas of the gaming industry or simply wants to try and make it in the very competitive Spanish market. The biggest operator in Spain, Pokerstars, has recently integrated casino games, so try and make their stay there profitable.
The biggest issue by far, is the very high taxes that operators has to pay to be allowed to operate in Spain. Many big companies bought licenses back in 2011, but quickly decided to end the agreement, due to the high cost and low revenues. This not only limits the offerings, but also limits the promotions and rewards that players can get while playing on .es sites.
This has led to the Spanish players seeking off-shore sites to play on, where they can get decent rewards and not pay a massive 20% income tax on their gross-winnings. Upwards of 50% of all Spanish players are believed to be playing outside the .es markets, which makes it relatively easy to see that issuing more licenses might not be the right solution for the struggling market.