Sports and casino boost Spanish iGaming market in Q3

29 November 2018

Spain’s online gaming market has reported a 29.9% year-on-year increase in gross gaming revenue for the third quarter of the year, driven by the strong performance of the sports betting and casino verticals.

Figures released by the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) revealed that revenue for the three months ended September 30 rose to €181.8m (£161.9m/$206.5m).

This was largely due to growth in sports betting, which reported a 27.4% increase in revenue to €97.4m in the quarter that included the latter stages of the Fifa World Cup. Despite Spain’s national team failing to make it beyond the second round of the tournament, amounts wagered for the quarter were up 21.6% from Q3 2017 at €1.61bn. In its Q2 figures, the DGOJ revealed that Spain's regulated iGaming operators enjoyed their best month ever in June, when the World Cup got underway.

The casino vertical, which includes slots and table games, also performed strongly, reporting a 39.2% increase in revenue to €60.8m. Slots were by far the most popular product, accounting for €34.2m of the quarterly total, followed by live roulette, which contributed €11.9m.

Players spent more gambling on casino games than on any other product, with total stakes up 35.6% at €2.1bn for the period.

The third quarter also saw the poker vertical grow strongly, continuing to benefit from the launch of liquidity pooling with France and Portugal to report a 35.1% year-on-year increase in revenue to €19.8m.

Looking at Spain’s two other licensed verticals, bingo saw revenue up 11.3% at €3.1m, while contests was the only one to post decline during the quarter. It saw revenue plummet 85% to €318,279 for the period.

During the quarter, the 52 licensed operators in the market significantly increased their advertising spend. Total marketing investment across all channels was up 56.3% at €75.9m, primarily due to a hike in TV advertising, with total investment almost doubling to €36.4m. Investment in sponsorship jumped 83.4% year-on-year, albeit from a low base, to €3.5m.

Spend on player bonuses rose to €28.6m, with affiliate marketing investment up 49.8% at €7.4m.

This led to a 30.7% year-on-year increase in average active accounts over the quarter, which rose to 812,007. However this was not matched by growth in new user numbers, which fell 1.9% to 232,012.

By the end of the third quarter, of the 52 operators licensed in the market, 38 were active in the casino vertical, followed by 29 for sports betting. Nine operators offered poker during the quarter, six were active in bingo, and just one offered contests.