Spanish Online Gambling Revenue Grows 17.7% Year-on-Year
The Spanish online casino market brought in 17.7% more revenue in Q2 2020 than in the same quarter of 2019.
That growth was spearheaded by the online casino market, which grew 45% to €93.5 million ($108.9 million). Meanwhile, sports betting, which is usually the leading gambling sector in Spain, only earned €61 million ($72.2 million) – 20% less than last year’s figure.
A lot of this fall-off can be put down to the coronavirus pandemic, which prematurely ended Spain’s La Liga soccer league for the year as well as every other major sporting league across Europe.
Although play has now resumed, fans aren’t allowed back into stadiums yet in most European countries, which continues to affect the number of bets placed.
The greatest gains in the quarter were made by the slots and poker segments of the Spanish market.
Slots were up 30% on last year’s revenue figure. That’s a strong rise, but it’s not as much as many would have expected.
Poker, on the other hand, proved the doubters wrong – at least in Spain. Online poker sites pulled in a massive 97.4% more than Q2 2019 with a €38.2 million ($45.216 million) haul compared to last year’s €19 million.
However, the data suggests this super-strong start to the quarter for poker may have already leveled off as we move further into Q3.
Player numbers are already down to pre-pandemic levels, suggesting many poker fans in Spain went back to the game out of lockdown boredom more than anything else.
Another positive for the gambling sector in Spain is that it spent a lot less on marketing this year than normal.
That’s because the Spanish government joined many in the European region in restricting or banning gambling advertising during the initial lockdown phase of the pandemic.
That’s a drop in marketing spend must seem timely now, after the release of a gambling marketing report for 2019 at the beginning of this month.
The report from the Spanish Association of Advertisers revealed that gambling and betting companies spent nearly €146 million ($172.7 million) on advertising last year.
That was up 10% on 2018’s ad spend. Gambling, along with Industrial Agriculture, was one of only two economic sectors in the country to increase marketing spend pre-pandemic.
The fact that those costs will have fallen sharply this year might be a boon for gambling PR, as increased ad activity is always a good stick for politicians to whip the sector with.
Since the beginning of the year, the Spanish Minister of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzon has been intent on putting tighter gambling restrictions into law.
This could see gambling sponsorship banned in the popular La Liga soccer league – a sentiment echoed by many English Premier League fans last week.
Other measures proposed by Mr. Garzon include a ban on gambling advertising on TV or radio outside of a small period between 1 and 5 am and a reallocation of some tax money to fund problem gambling charities or helplines.
However, as is often the case with state-run operators that compete against private companies, the Spanish Lottery Service looks set to be exempt from these rules.
If it was a private company, it would have accounted for €49m – about a quarter of all gambling advertising spend in the country last year.
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