The Spanish Treasury has said that operators offering cybercurrency services, such as Bitcoin, are still classified as online gambling operators and must obtain a gaming license.
Law firm, Abanlex, sought the opinion of the Treasury regarding Bitcoin as a legal form of currency and whether online gambling operators using it should be subject to national gambling regulations, be licensed and regulated and pay taxes.
The Treasury responded:
"Ultimately, the bitcoin is a convertible virtual currency that can be exchanged between users and, likewise, be converted into dollars, euros, or other currencies both real and virtual.
"The activity of betting with bitcoins is considered to be included within the definition of bets, [and] it is therefore mandatory to obtain the general betting licence and the corresponding singular license."
The issue is being debated and will continue to be as the market for Bitcoin continues to grow and as Bitcoin automatic teller machines start popping up.