Online gambling industry ‘march’ at slight ‘halt’ in Spain

Spanish online gambling Q1 2019Spain’s online gambling market noted a significant rise of 20% in the first quarter of 2019, although poker numbers decreased.

Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), Spain’s regulatory body, released a report regarding the first quarter of 2019 that estimates the revenue of the Spanish providers at €193.2m, which is a slight 2.14% rise compared with the previous trimester but a 20.1% compared with this time last year.

Although it seems to be a modest increase, the reality is that the Spanish regulated online market’s growth had its lowest gain percentage in the last two years.

This drop is visible in the statistics of each industry. For example, online sports betting may have a 26.2% year-on-year to €100.8m upturn but the percentage gain remained almost the same as last semester.  The live play betting seems to be preferred by the players as it generated an 11.5% rise compared to last semester of 2018. The shift in the preferences is obvious as pre-match betting dropped by 11%.

Betting turnover was observed to rise by 12.6% year-on-year but was 10.5% down in contrast with the previous semester. Exchange betting turnover and revenue saw a dramatic year-on-year reduction by 46.2% and 21.6% respectively.  Racing turnover incremented by one third, but its revenue was decreased by one third.

On the other hand, the online casino figures were encouraging. The industry’s revenue soared 20% mainly due to the slots revenue ascending 29.2% to €37.5m. Baccarat presented an impressive boost of 1,400% year-on-year despite the fact that players’ turnover was not dramatically increased.

Online poker had a non-profitable semester as its revenue came down 1.4% compared to last year. Cash poker games are to blame for this decline as they fall 5.7% to €7.5m. while tournaments go better at 5% to €13.7m.

Less important online games like bingo saw an 8.6% reduction at its revenue.

Spanish-licensed operators spend ‘big’ on promotion this semester. Marketing expenditure rose to 21.4% year-on-year as well as affiliate marketing (62.4%) and advertising (16.1%). The advertising though was down 6.5% than last semester because it faces the government’s intention to implement limitations on gambling ads in the same spirit they did to the tobacco industry. Players don’t seem discouraged though as the number of active online accounts surged 13.1% reaching almost the 1m threshold.

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