Spain’s online gambling market surges following introduction of slots

spain-online-gambling-marketSpain’s online gambling market got a serious boost in third-quarter revenues following the introduction of online slots play.

According to figures released this week by the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), Spain’s regulated online gambling market posted revenue of €84.2m on turnover of €2.1b in the three months ending Sept. 30, representing year-on-year gains of 36% and 32%, respectively.

Spanish legislators approved the addition of slots to the country’s online gambling some time ago but it wasn’t until this summer that the DGOJ got around to issuing the first online slots licenses. A total of 29 slots licenses have since been awarded, and the casino vertical responded accordingly, with revenue rising 114% to €18.1m.

Despite the casino gains, the vertical has a long way to go to catch sports betting, which reported revenue up 46% to €49.4m in Q3. Online poker continued to struggle, with revenue falling 16% to €14.4m (tournaments down 7% to €7.35m; cash games down 24% to €7m). Bingo revenue declined 12% to €1.8m.

Sports betting accounted for 46.6% of overall online gambling turnover and 58.7% of online revenue. Casino reported 32.6% of turnover and 21.5% of revenue. Poker claimed 20% of turnover and 17.1% of revenue, while bingo accounted for less than 1% of turnover and 2.1% of revenue.

The year-on-year gains are at least partly attributable to increased marketing. The DGOJ reported that operators spent nearly 200% more on bonus offers in Q3 while spending on “advertising, sponsorship and promotion” rose 42% to €18m. However, the market could see its forward momentum stall if the government follows through on its proposal to limit operators’ ability to promote their products on television and via sponsorships of Spanish sports teams.