Spain’s Gambling Market Revenue Continues to Reach New Heights

Posted on: September 22, 2023, 06:44h. 

Last updated on: September 22, 2023, 11:04h.

Spain’s gaming industry has enjoyed several periods of strong growth, and the second quarter of 2023 was no different. Casinos and sportsbooks are welcoming more customers, and Q2 was one of the best for the sector since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Casino Mediterraneo Benidorm in Benidorm, Spain
The Casino Mediterraneo Benidorm in Benidorm, Spain. Spain’s casinos continue to see improved revenue each year following the COVID-19 stoppage. (Image: Expedia)

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the quarter was €312.61 million (US$333 million), according to the latest report from the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gaming (DGOJ, for its Spanish acronym). This represents an increase of 2.52% compared to the previous quarter, and 55.06% compared to the same quarter of last year.

The improvements follow a lull in activity that occurred in the first two quarters of 2022. The year-on-year Q2 decrease from 2021 to 2022 was 5.5%, leading to a significant improvement in the latest numbers.

Online Casinos Take Over

The latest GGR increase comes mainly from two segments of the industry. Casinos controlled 47.94% of the GGR, accounting for €149.86 million (US$159.67 million) of the total. This makes it clear not only that physical gambling continues to be very important in Spain, but also how the previous COVID-19 measures truly impacted their businesses.

The other sector that boosted revenue was sports betting, with a collection of €133.31 million (US$142.04 million). This was 42.64% of the entire GGR, representing a growth rate compared to the previous quarter of 2.07% and 118.9% compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

This also seems to counter concerns that the land-based segment was under threat of being eliminated. That was the claim of the Spanish Association of Entrepreneurs of Game and Recreational Halls last October. But it isn’t what’s happening.

Conventional sports betting increased by 1.81% and live sports betting by 3.47%, compared to the previous quarter. Horse racing bets increased by 22.67% and other odds bets decreased by -15.08%.

Poker Chips are Down

Despite Spain’s popularity as a stop for the European Poker Tour, the World Poker Tour, and others, poker saw mixed results in the quarter. It ranked as the third segment that contributed the most to the GGR with €25.7 million (US$27.38 million), 8.4% of the GGR, but declined 5.84% compared to the previous quarter.

At the same time, this was also an increase of 27.57% compared to Q2 of last year. Tournament poker decreased by 2.77% and cash games lost 13.58%. However, the annual variation was positive at 38.12% and 4.85%, respectively.

The DGOJ included data on how much the gambling industry is spending on marketing, with €96.64 million (US$103 million) the magic number. This included €12.29 million (US$13 million) in affiliate expenses, €1.22 million (US$1.3 million) in sponsorships, €48.96 million (US$52.16 million) in promotions, and €34.17 million (US$36.4 million) in advertising.

Regarding the number of players, the monthly average of active gaming accounts is 1,134,993, which implies a decrease of 2.04% compared to the previous quarter. That number is an 11.43% jump over the Q2 number from last year. The monthly average of new accounts is 102,804 users, a 7.71% quarter-over-quarter drop and a year-on-year dip of 2.96%.