BUSINESS

Spain’s online gambling market floats all boats in Q4, even poker

TAGs: spain

spain-online-gambling-marketSpain’s regulated online gambling market reported gains across all major verticals – yes, even poker – in the final quarter of 2017.

Figures released Monday by Spanish gaming regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) show Spanish-licensed online operators generated revenue of €173.3m in the three months ending December 31, 2017. The figure represents a 38% improvement over Q4 2016 and is 23.5% higher than Q3 2017’s total.

Active customer ranks improved nearly 12% year-on-year to over 676k, while customer deposits soared by 53.2% to €495.5m. These gains came despite operators cutting their Q4 advertising spending by 1.4% to €31.3m. However, bonus offers to customers were up 13.1% year-on-year to €21m, while affiliate marketing expenses jumped 38.6% to €7.5m and sponsorship expenses more than doubled to €3.15m.

The online casino vertical handily usurped the online turnover crown from sports betting in Q4. Casino spending topped €1.77b in Q4, a year-on-year improvement of nearly 48%, which gave the casino vertical a 49.9% share of all turnover, while sports betting’s €1.34b (+5.2%) relegated it to second place with a 37.7% share.

However, sports betting dominated the revenue chart with €103.6m, up 48.5% year-on-year, while casino revenue topped out at €49.4m, representing a still-respectable 37.4% improvement.

Live betting accounted for 68.4% of Q4’s sports betting turnover but only 51% of betting revenue. Roulette (combined live and conventional) was the dominant casino product, accounting for 45.8% of spending and 35.4% of revenue. Slots ranked second on the casino spending chart with 39.5% but claimed 52% of casino revenue.

Total online poker spending improved 15.5% to €411.6m while poker revenue was up 5% to €15.5m. The gains were entirely due to tournament fees improving 2.2%, as cash game stakes slipped 2.6% from Q4 2016.

Spain’s poker operators will hope for signs of a cash games revival following the launch of shared liquidity with France’s regulated market. The Stars Group’s PokerStars got the ball rolling last month and French operator Winamax is expected to join in the fun once its DGOJ-issued Spanish license arrives.

Rounding out the Q4 charts were bingo, which saw turnover rise more than one-third to €25.5m and revenue jump 30% to €3.25m. The contests vertical proved the lone outlier, with declines in both turnover (€2.2m, -25%) and revenue (€1.6m, -27.6%).

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