CryptoCoins News reports that the Spanish Treasury will be treating bitcoin like a currency when it comes to gambling, requiring sites to obtain a betting license.
A law firm had inquired from the Treasury if bitcoin is considered money, and if so, if operators would require licensing and pay fees. The firm had other related questions on the matter, but only received response for their first question.
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The Treasury, which oversees regulation for the gambling industry, responded that its rules apply because 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 ruling has sparked arguments that if Spain considers bitcoin as money for gambling, it should be considered money for everything, including taxes and KYC/AML/TF matters. This, however, is likely not the case. The best example is the US, where FinCEN considers it a monetary equivalent for the purposes of obtaining money services licensing, but the IRS views it as property. Contrary to some arguments that there is “one law”, it is intuitive and often beneficial to characterize an object based on the relevant subject matter.