Betting and casino industries boost iGaming in Spain


SPAIN has joined the list of countries which are reporting an increase in revenue due to the brilliant performance of sports betting and casino verticals.

As of current, Spain’s online gaming market reports this figure to be at 25.5% as of the end of 2018.

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The numbers, that were released by the Dirección de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) indicate an impressive growth rate and saw revenue upwards of $206 million by September’s end, dwarfing previous years indicators.

Which niche is the best contributor to growth

Now, it is highly unlikely that this climb can be attributed to sports betting alone, however it has played a significant role in pumping up the numbers. Reports as of the year end in 2018 indicate revenue at $110.5 million, a whopping 27.4% increase from the previous quarter, which did incidentally fall over the last games of the soccer World Cup. The DGOJ made it clear that the regulated iGaming operators in Spain were blessed with their most lucrative month yet, thanks to the tournament watched by millions all over the globe.

The DGOJ released another report indicating that total revenue increased to $784.5 million as of 2018; whilst player deposits saw a massive 53.5% rise to the total of $2.8 billion.

While the stand out in 2018 was sports betting with its GGR rising just above 18% to $414 million, which accounted for 52.2% of the market total, there were other contributors. $7.9 billion was the total amount players wagered on sports in 2018, boasting a 27.85% increase since 2017. In-play betting accounted for a large portion of this figure indicating its popularity with the public.   

Fixed odds and pre-match betting managed to grab only 28.9% ($2.2bn) of the stakes, while live betting took majority of the revenue received through amounts wagered, totaling $5.4 billion (68.3%)

Online casino growth

Although betting accounted for most of the revenue, 2018 saw growth within the casino niche in most aspects too. With its 34% share of the Spanish market the GGR went up 38.1%. With slot machines acting as the main contributor to the $9.3 billion that players staked on the casino games, there was an increase of 31.1% year on year.  The numbers indicate that slots accounted for $147 million of revenue, up to a staggering 50.6%, smashing its closest competitor for most popular game, live roulette, which only managed to procure $53.4 million in comparison.

Compared to other international markets

Great Britain is one of the largest markets internationally and they reported £14.4 Billion in gambling related revenues in 2018. They also report that UK online casinos have a 37.3% of remote betting market share. The United States had a total of $137.5 billion in gambling related revenues which is entirely associated with land based casinos as online casinos are currently severely restricted to certain jurisdictions. Canada is a much bigger player in the online casino world. Where the provincial markets account for $5.85 billion overall, they do allow online gambling as well. The online casino gambling market there is growing rapidly and is expected to triple to match the worldwide growth to $55.19 billion in 2019.

Other verticals

Spanish Poker enjoyed a fantastic year, which saw GGR up 37.1% ($92.8m). Cash game stakes and tournament fees welcomed a rise of just over 31% ($2.3bn), which must surely be due to the cross-border network with Portugal and France allowing more players to get involved in the action.

Bingo unfortunately did not keep pace with the other more popular games, bringing in only $15.2 million, even though it enjoyed a revenue increase of 17.4% year on year, with GGR down 8.2% sitting at $1.1 million. Only contests vertical reported a decline of revenue for 2018.

The result

Active player accounts are up 28.4% (833.525) which appears to be thanks to ever-growing market investment. Due to the Fifa World Cup, there was a dramatic increase in expenditure by licensees with total marketing spending rising 48% to $372.8 million, undoubtedly due to a massive advertising outlay of more than $190 million up 62.5%, and increases in promotion and investments.

Many factors are responsible for the incline of the online casino industry in Spain and if the numbers are anything to by, we can be sure it will continue on its upward curve. With laws consistently being amended to support the industry and help usher in a new era and more people being able to connect to the online world, it is only a matter of time before the brick-and-mortar big brother will succumb to the online industry.


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