The Spanish Gambling Regulator ( La Direccion General de Ordenacion del Juego) has granted a provisional gaming license to the Rational Group, which is based in the Isle of Man. The license was given to the Spanish subsidiary of Rational, Reel Spain and will allow the group to offer online casino games to players in Spain’s regulated internet gambling market. The move to offer casino games in Spain is the first time the company will provide such games in a country not within its .com domain range. This may open the way for the group to enter other regulated markets offering casino games in addition to poker.
Echoes from Black Friday
The Rational Group runs Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker and mention of these two online poker sites brings to mind Black Friday when the FBI seized their domain names and that of Absolute Poker in April 2011. All three poker site operators were indicted and their websites closed down. There is still opposition to Poker Stars trying to re-enter the American internet gambling industry. However the recent agreement between the Canadian company Amaya Gaming Group and Rational’s parent company the Oldford Group to purchase Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker for almost 5 billion dollars may lessen the American opposition to Poker Stars returning to the American online gaming market. A main reason for this would be the fact that the owners of Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker at the time of Black Friday would resign from the company after the sale and so any link to alleged criminal activity would be broken.
Roulette and Blackjack to be offered in Spain
With its provisional license to offer casino games such as blackjack and roulette, Reel Spain, Rational’s subsidiary in the country, will greatly increase its share of the Spanish online gambling market. Up to now Rational’s main emphasis has been on poker but earlier this year Full Tilt Poker, which was taken over by Rational in July 2012, started to offer roulette and four versions of blackjack to players using its .com site and it has plans to introduce more casino games in the future. Over 60 per cent of Spain’s online poker market is controlled by Rational’s main site, Poker Stars so Reel Spain should see growth as it moves into the online Spanish casino games market.