Spain reports first quarter online gambling spike

by Charlotte Lee Last Updated

Spain’s online gambling market reported double-digit growth in the first quarter of 2020, Calvin Ayre reports.

All gaming verticals are reporting strong year-on-year improvements.

Figures released last week by Spain’s DGOJ regulatory body show locally licensed online operators generated revenue of just under 218 million euros in the three months ending March 31.

This is a 12.5 per cent increase from the same period last year and 17.6 per cent better than the final quarter of 2019, which suffered negative growth.

Sports betting remains the dominant vertical with revenue of 110.6 million euro in quarter one, up 8.6 per cent year-on-year and nearly a quarter higher than the fourth quarter of 2019.

In-play betting revenue increased four per cent to 61.3 million euro, despite in-play turnover falling 18.5 per cent year-on-year.

Pre-match wagering mirrored this pattern, with revenue rising 13.1 per cent to 46.3 million euro, despite turnover falling 10 per cent.

Casino revenue was up 8.3 per cent year-on-year to 77.6 million euro, thanks to strong growth in slots, which were u 15.7 per cent, live roulette, up 35.6 per cent and traditional roulette up 16.7 per cent.

On the flip side, blackjack revenue was down 17.1 per cent to 5.3 million euro, while baccarat was off nearly 80 per cent to just 614,000 euro.

Online poker revenue jumped 13.1 per cent year-on-year to 24.2 million euro as tournaments improved by nearly 16 per cent to 16.1 million euro.

Cash games rose a respectable 8 per cent to 8.1 million euro.

Both tournament fees (up 30.7 per cent) and cash games stakes (up 22.8 per cent) reported solid year-on-year growth.

As for the market’s lesser lights, bingo was up 14.7 per cent to 3.7 million euro, while the contests segment doubled year-on-year to 1.9 million euro.

Spanish-licensed operators spent 118.2 million euro on marketing during the first quarter, up 28.3 per cent for the same period last year.

Advertising spend rose nearly a quarter to 59.9 million euro, while bonus offers jumped 46 per cent to 42.4 million euro.

Affiliate marketing nudged up one per cent to 10.3 million euro while sponsorship spending role 23 per cent to 6 million euro.

Despite the spending increase, only 868,000 new online gambling accounts were opened during the quarter, a year-on-year increase of just 5.6 per cent, while active accounts were flat at 911,000.

All marketing expenditure will undergo significant reductions if Spain presses forward with plans to dramatically reduce its online licensees’ promotional efforts.

Stakeholders’ reaction to Thursday’s announcement was fast and furious.

Spanish online operator association Jdigital noted that Spain’s “worrisome” plans to restrict nearly all gambling promos contained a hypocritical carveout for the state-run SELAE lottery operation.

Jdigital expressed hope that the European Commission would take note of this blatant favouritism, while claiming that the “discrimination and harassment of private gaming” appeared to reflect more of an “ideological” response than “credible consumer protection objectives”.

ORYX continues its European expansion

Online casino games provider ORYX Gaming has partnered with online gambling operator Top Bet in Serbia in the latest of a host of recent deals that will see the company expand its presence across south-eastern Europe.

Casino News Daily reported in early July that under the terms of the recently signed deal, Top Bet will gain access to ORYX Gaming’s RGS library that includes in-house built content as well as content from third-party studios such as Kalamba Games, Givme Games, Gamomat, and recently added CandleBets.

Top Bet has entered the Serbian online gambling space only recently and is looking to build its footprint in that market.

Via a single integration, the operator will be provided with full access to more than 10,000 online casino titles from more than 100 iGaming providers that are all available on ORYX Gaming’s content aggregator ORYX Hub.

The partnership with Top Bet is the latest announced by ORYX Gaming that involves an operator targeting a south-eastern European iGaming market.

Last month, the content provider announced that it has successfully launched its ORYX Hub with online brand of major gambling operator Admiral in Croatia.

Late in May, ORYX Gaming secured a supply deal with Superbet, one of the leading gambling operators in the Romanian market.

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