Spanish market grows in 2019 despite Q4 decline

28 February 2020

Spain’s online gambling market saw gross gaming revenue (GGR) grow 7.1% year-over-year to €748.5m (£638.5m/$821.5m) in 2019, despite the year concluding with a decline in fourth quarter revenue.

Figures from the Dirección General del Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) revealed growth across all but two legal verticals, with sports betting contributing the largest share. Revenue in that vertical was up 3.7% to €378.6m for the year.

Real-money contests, meanwhile, enjoyed the biggest jump in revenue to €2.7m - a 170.0% year-on-year rise - followed by casino, for which revenue was up 15.2% at €273.9m.

However, poker and bingo both reported declines in 2019. For poker, revenue fell marginally to €81.3m, while bingo revenue was down 9.7% to €12.1m.

This came after Q4 became the second three-month period in which revenue fell year-on-year, after Q2.

For the three months to 31 December, 2019, revenue declined 2.1% to €185.6m, largely down to drops in sports betting and poker revenue.

The contribution from sports fell 10.2% to €89.9m, while poker GGR was down 4.0% at €20.0m. In Q4, in-play established itself as the main source of revenue, contributing €55.5m to the vertical’s total, and partially offsetting a 29.7% decline in revenue from pre-match betting to €31.9m.

This was offset in part by an 11.7% rise in casino’s contribution, to €72.3m. Slots were the main contributor to this growth, after revenue rose 13.8% to €41.5m. Q4 was also a strong quarter for roulette, with revenue rising 6.2% for traditional online games (to €9.4m), and 24.9% to €15.9m for live roulette. This mitigated a 17.4% drop in blackjack revenue, to €5.5m.

Bingo also struggled in Q4, with revenue down 24.0% to €2.7m, while contests revenue jumped 260.3% to €608,375.

By the end of the quarter, monthly active account numbers averaged 972,724, up 13.3% year-on-year, while an average of 301,432 players registered for accounts during the reporting period.

The fourth quarter, in the week that the Spanish government introduced a series of new restrictions on gambling advertising, saw marketing expenditure up across the board. Advertising investment by Spanish licensees totalled €56.8m, up 10.8%, followed by bonus offers - something that will be capped at €100 under the new regulations - at €39.5m.

Spending with affiliates rose 6.4% to €10.9m, while a further €5.8m was spent on sponsorship deals.