Sportingbet Assesses Spanish Back-Tax

After Bwin.Party agreed to pay the retro-active Spanish online gambling tax, rival group Sportingbet has assessed that this will cost their company Euro 14 million, plus surcharges and interest of up to Euro 3.2 million and will also pay up.

"The payment of these taxes maximises the likelihood of securing a Spanish eGaming licence," the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Sportingbet was contacted by the Spanish tax authorities stating any online operator that has ever accepted revenues from Spanish customers has an obligation to pay Spanish taxes, one dating from 1966 and the other from 1977.

"Prior to the recent approach from the Spanish authorities, these laws had been applied to operators based in Spain carrying out offline gaming activities and to certain kinds of bets (other than fixed odd bets)," Sportingbet explains.

Sportingbet has since sold GBP 15 million principal amount of the company's 7 percent Convertible Bonds due 2016. The Bonds will be issued on Friday 25 May and will have the same terms as the GBP 65 million convertible bonds that were issued on 8 June 2011 and will be convertible into Ordinary Shares at a conversion price of GBP 0.4775.

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