Spain’s Q2 Gaming Revenue Dips as Gambling Reform Approaches

Posted on: September 13, 2022, 07:19h. 

Last updated on: September 13, 2022, 12:00h.

Spain’s gaming industry has been strong, but is slipping this year. After a slow first quarter, the second quarter also delivered year-on-year declines.

An exterior stairway painted in the colors of the Spanish flag. The country’s gambling revenue dipped in Q2 ahead of new reforms. (Image: Unsplash)

Q1 of 2022 brought a 14.83% year-on-year drop in gross gaming revenue (GGR), with its take of €204.4 million (US$215.17 million). The second-quarter total, according to the General Directorate and Game Regulation (DGOJ, for its Spanish acronym), was €203.9 million (US$207.36 million). This represents a decrease of 5.5% from the same quarter last year.

At the same time, user deposits and withdrawals increased 0.55% and 9.82%, respectively, compared to Q1. New registrations lost 5.45%, and companies spent 4.76% less on marketing than in the previous quarter.

Sports Betting Weighs Down Market

The total GGR includes €60.9 million (US$61.78 million) in stakes, accounting for 29.86% of the total. Bingo controlled just 1.64% of the market, adding €3.3 million (US$3.34 million). The casino segment delivered €117.1 million (US$118.77 million), for 57.44% of the total, while poker brought in €22.5 million (US$22.81 million) or 11.05%.

The sports betting segment decreased by 6.69% compared to the previous quarter. It was 33.78% less than it was a year earlier. Conventional fixed-odds sports bets increased by 15.21%, while live bets decreased by 23.09% compared to the previous quarter. Standing out among the rest, fixed-odds horserace betting increased by 172.61%.

In the casino segment, there was growth of 5.57% compared to the first quarter of 2022, and a positive annual variation rate of 17.33%. This growth came primarily through slot machines, which added 23%, and live roulette and its 15.4% improvement.

Poker decreased by 7.86% in the second quarter of 2022, compared to Q1. It did increase by 10.77% compared to the same quarter last year.

Marketing spend in the quarter was €89.6 million (US$90.86 million). This includes €7.9 million (US$8 million) in membership spending; €300,000 (US$304,200) in sponsorships, €49.48 million (US$50.17 million) in promotions, and €31.8 million (US$32.25 million) on advertising.

Spain has been modifying its gambling laws, which have cut into advertising and sponsorships. A test of the constitutionality of the measures is now underway.

The monthly average of active gaming accounts is 996,149, which implies a quarter-over-quarter decrease of 2.42%. The monthly average of new accounts is 146,057 users, with a quarterly decrease of 5.45% and a year-on-year drop of just under 26%.

A New Era of Gambling

A draft of Spain’s updated Law on the Regulation of Gambling is back in front of congressional lawmakers. It has made several appearances this year, and the Senate could vote on it this Thursday.

The primary topics in the reform cover responsible gambling and research. Spain is redefining what constitutes responsible gambling from the perspective of operators, adding new safeguards and controls.

At the same time, the country is launching a massive research program to explore different facets of gambling. These include protection for minors, corporate integrity, the use of personal data, and more.

There’s one more item that might appear on Thursday. Spain is grappling with the subject of loot boxes and their gambling implications. Senate lawmakers could indicate their stance on the topic when they vote.