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Spain Delays Online Gaming Start

Legal online gaming in Spain will debut up to six months later than the originally announced January 1 start.

The cabinet decided at the last minute to give the Spanish regulator and the operators more time to get things in order. The regulated market is now scheduled to open by June 30 at the latest.

The law legalizing online gaming came into effect in May 2011, but the regulations were still being created. Applicants were then asked to apply for licenses between November 19 and December 14. The National Gambling Commission was given up to six months to review the applications, and it was expected that some licenses would be granted by the start of January.

Online gaming operators who had sports team sponsorship agreements in place before 2011 were initially allowed to maintain the arrangements only until January 1, 2012. But the postponement of the start of licensed gaming activities means such agreements could be in force until June 30.

Betfair Adds Fixed-Odds Offering

U.K.-based bookmaker Betfair, known for its exchange wagering program that allows punters to wager against each other on races, is adding a fixed-odds sports book platform to its offerings which CEO David Yu says will mean punters “have no reason to go anywhere else.”

The fixed-odds sports book is currently under development, and Yu says it will be ready for launch before the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship in June. Yu said Betfair’s customers currently spend around 60 percent of their sports wagering bankrolls with the company, with 40 percent going to rival bookmakers. He said the addition of a fixed-odds sports book will give customers multiple and pool betting, and will allow Betfair to have a “promotional wallet” for the first time, to compete with bonuses offered by traditional bookmakers.