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Spanish Lotteries

The first national lottery in Spain was organized by King Carlos III in 1763. Today there are two national lotteries, LAE and ONCE, which operate under exclusive government licenses. Additional lotteries may only be organized at the Community level. The National Gaming Commission (Comisión Nacional del Juego) within the Ministry of the Interior regulates the Spanish lotteries. Foreign national lotteries are not allowed in Spain.

Since 1982, the Spanish gaming market has changed from a centralized system to a decentralized one with regional legislation. The process of decentralization began when seven of the 19 Autonomous Communities (Comunidades Autónomas) obtained control over gaming in their respective territories. The Spanish territory is divided into 19 Communities. The first seven Communities were Catalonia, the Basque Country, Valencia, Andalusia, Navarra, Galicia and the Canary Islands. Other Communities followed to complete the transfer by 1998.

Since 1984, the Entrepreneurial Public Entity of State Lotteries and Betting (Entidad Pública Empresarial Loterías y Apuestas del Estado, LAE) has been the operator of Spain's national lottery. ONCE (Spanish National Organisation for the Blind) is Spain's second national lottery and is considered a charity lottery. The LAE offers different products to the Spanish gaming market: the Lotería Nacional (state lottery), Lotería Primitiva and Bonoloto (lotto), El Gordo de la Primitiva (their biggest lottery), El Niño (Epiphany lottery), La Quiniela 1X2 (football betting), El Quinigol (sports betting), Lototurf and Quíntuple Plus (horse race betting). LAE also started Euro Millions with the U.K. and French lottery in 2004. This inter-EU lottery now has nine EU countries participating. The LAE is prohibited from selling tickets directly for these lotteries, and has awarded licenses to thousands of selling agencies throughout the country.

The promotion of national Spanish lotteries was prohibited in Spain for all except the LAE and ONCE. However, a new Spanish Gambling Act in 2011 lifted the ban and allows all operators to advertise. Even though Spanish legislation subjects gambling income to taxation, lottery winnings from LAE, ONCE and the Autonomous Community agencies are not subject to this taxation.

Euro Millions and Spanish lottery prizes larger than EUR 2,500.00 are subject to a 20% tax deduction by the Spanish government. In late May 2013, the Gambling Regulation Act 13/2011 was passed establishing for the first time legislation pertaining to gambling over the internet and other electronic media. It also regulates the adherence of different types of games at the national level.
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