Betting and casino drive Spanish igaming growth in 2018

8 March 2019

The strong performance of the sports betting and casino verticals helped Spanish online gaming revenue grow 25.5% year-on-year in 2018.

Total market gross gaming revenue rose to €669.3m (£599.5m/$784.5m), with customer deposits up 53.5% to €2.5bn, according to figures from Spain’s igaming regulator La Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ)

Sports betting was the star performer in 2018, with GGR rising 18.1% to €365.1m, accounting for 52.2% of the market total. Players wagered €7.0bn on sports during the year, a 27.8% rise from 2017, with in-play betting proving particularly popular.

Live betting accounted for €4.8bn - or 68.3% - of amounts wagered, followed by pre-match, fixed-odds betting which was responsible for €2.0bn (28.9%) of stakes.

While betting was the largest vertical in terms of revenue, casino grew rapidly in 2018, with GGR up 38.9% to €238.0m, giving it a 34.0% share of the Spanish market. Players staked €8.2bn on casino games, up 33.1% year-on-year, predominantly playing slots.

Slot machines accounted for €130.2m of revenue, up 50.6%, far ahead of the second most popular game, live dealer roulette, with generated revenue of €47.1m.

Spanish poker, boosted by the cross-border network with France and Portugal, enjoyed a strong year. GGR was up 37.1% to €81.8m, with cash game stakes and tournament fees rising 31.1% to €2.1bn.

Despite seeing revenue grow 17.4% year-on-year, bingo lagged behind with revenue of €13.4m for the year. Contests was the only product vertical to report a decline in revenue for 2018, with GGR down 82.2% to €1.0m.

The year, which included the Fifa World Cup, also saw a significant increase in marketing expenditure by licensees, with total marketing spend up 48.0% to €328.5m. This was driven by a €168.1m outlay on advertising, up 62.5%, and a 34.0% increase in investment in promotions.

This increased marketing investment appeared to have a knock-on effect on player growth, with the monthly average of active player accounts up 28.4% to 833,525.