Reports started arriving this week that players resident outside of Spain have found their accounts at the 888 dedicated Spanish gambling website locked.
The players have received advisory that their account balances will be paid out to them using their original depositing channels, but there was no specification of the reasons for such a move.
Industry observers interpreted the shutdown as a precautionary move in order to keep a clean slate by allowing only bona fide Spanish residents to play on the site.
Still, whether non-Spanish residents should be banned from the site is not clear, because while the national regulator requires that Spanish online gambling player bases must be maintained separate and distinct from international player pools, it is not understood whether this de facto prevents international players from registering at a Spanish site and becoming part of the dedicated Spanish player pool.
On its .es site, 888 seems to be taking its own interpretation of the regulations in order to reduce the confusion; what's more, the company is not the only one to take this cautious step - Pokerstars did the same on its .es site.