The London financial and business publication This Is Money reports that Gibraltar-based gambling group Victor Chandler expects to become the first British bookmaker to obtain an internet gambling licence in Madrid.
Chandler (58) who relocated his company to Gibraltar in 1999 told the publication: "Madrid has the largest regional gambling market in Spain. We are close to gaining a licence, which will make us the first firm to open the doors to internet gambling in the region and allow us to advertise in Spain."
This Is Money claims that the Madrid market alone is worth Euro 250 million (GBP 215 million), and reports that talks this week may open up all 17 of Spain's autonomous regional markets. The Chandler company is also looking to obtain a licence in South Africa, where moves to regulate and license online gambling are now far advanced.
Chandler declined to comment on rumours that his company is in talks to acquire a large UK sporting franchise. The company recently signed as a sponsor for the Nottingham Forest football club.