LeoVegas is about to embark on a journey to Spain. The gaming company has announced that it has been approved for sports gambling and online casino licenses in the country, and that it will have its Spanish website up and running soon. The entry into Spain is part of a larger expansion program that has seen LeoVegas already seek, and receive, licenses in Italy, Sweden, Ireland, Malta, Denmark, the UK and Schleswig-Holstein in Germany.
Spain could prove to be invaluable terrain for LeoVegas. The online gaming market, according to H2 Gaming Capital, is worth around $1.12 billion this year, which puts it only slightly behind the $1.58 billion in the Swedish market. However, Sweden’s gaming industry is split almost down the middle between retail and online, whereas Spain’s online gaming industry finds only 13% is online. This, coupled with substantial casino growth in the country – the Spanish Gambling Authority reported a 20% year-on-year increase for the first quarter of the year – shows great promise for gambling’s future in the country.
In a press release on the company’s newest license, LeoVegas Group CEO Gustaf Hagman states, “We welcome Spain as our 7th locally regulated market. With LeoVegas’ position as ‘King of Casino’, we are now entering Spain with the ambition to take the mobile position and offer the ultimate gaming experience. The Spanish online gambling market have a strong underlying growth with over 20% per year. The Spanish license is an important step in our continued expansion, in other Spanish-speaking countries, where we have already conducted test launches in Peru and Chile.”
LeoVegas would most likely consider expanding into the US market, as well, if it weren’t for certain limitations. Hagman has previously stated that there were a number of factors that have to be considered before any US move could be made. Among these, although not specifically mentioned, are the lack of national gaming legislation and the requirement to receive a license in each state. This is costly without having any historical data upon which to base a decision to enter a particular jurisdiction. There is also still a degree of uncertainty about online gaming future’s place in the country, given the recent questionable drama launched by the Department of Justice in relation to the Federal Wire Act.