Spain’s Online Gaming Revenue Lost Four Percent Last Year, But Casino Activity Up

Posted on: April 1, 2022, 06:11h. 

Last updated on: April 1, 2022, 01:25h.

Spain’s online gaming market is still strong, but not as strong as previously. Online gross gaming revenue fell slightly last year, even as more online casino action was recorded.

Spanish flag
The Spanish flag in front of Cibeles Palace in Madrid. The country’s iGaming industry is still strong but lost steam in 2021. (Image: Getty Images)

Spain’s gaming regulator, DGOJ, just released its latest figures for online gaming. In 2021, the GGR was €815.30 million (US$901.64 million), 4.17% less than in the previous year. However, deposits and withdrawals continue their growing trend, increasing compared to 2020 by 21.64% and 34.91%, respectively.

This wasn’t a result of less spending since operators received €2.77 billion (US$3.06 billion) from players throughout the year.

Instead, the drop in the online gaming industry’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) is more likely due to restrictions impacting the sports betting scene. The online sports betting segment recorded less revenue than the online casino segment for the first time.

Spain GGR Slips in 2021

In the analysis of the GGR by game segments, the online casino segment was the big winner for the first time. Its GGR was €407.14 million (US$450.21 million), accounting for 49.94% of all the online activity. There was €305.88 million (US$338.21 million) in sports betting (37.52%), €85.42 million (US$94.44 million) in poker (10.48%), €14.47 million (US$16 million) in bingo (1.78%), and €2.39 million (US$2.64 million) in contests (0.29%). Bingo declined in 2021, with an annual variation rate of -12.41%.

The betting segment had a decrease rate compared to the previous year of -16.23%. This was due primarily to conventional and live sports betting, which decreased in 2021 by 14.21% and 13.58%, respectively.

These two historically represent the vast majority of the betting market. In 2021, the market for “Other Counterpart Bets” also decreased by -69.93%, while horserace bets presented losses of €4.48 million (US$4.95 million).

In the casino segment, there has been growth in 2021, with an annual variation rate of 16.07%. This growth is mainly due to the behavior of slot machines. Marketing spending in 2021 was €460.04 million (US$508.85 million), 0.92% lower than the previous year. Affiliate spending increased by 6.69% and advertising by 1.61%, while sponsorship decreased by 29.31% and promotions by 1.14%.

The number of active players in 2021 was 1,470,303. This is 0.61% lower than the previous year. The monthly average of active accounts was 997,483, which implies growth of 14.41% over the previous year. However, this was countered by the monthly average of new gaming accounts. There were 260,124 new users last year, representing an annual decrease of 9.85%.

Slots Catapult iGaming Upward

Since launching in 2015, online slots have helped increase the market share of casinos compared to the rest of the segments. In 2021, it accounted for 59.28% of the casino and had an annual variation of 23.08%.

Live roulette increased with respect to the previous year by 18.16%, while conventional roulette dropped by 21.41%. Blackjack and punto banco have annual variation rates of -5.76% and -99.36%, respectively.

Since Spain initiated a shared liquidity agreement for poker with France and Portugal in January 2018, five platforms have been set up in Spain. However, they weren’t able to propel the segment forward last year.

Poker in 2021 showed a considerable decrease, obtaining an annual variation rate of -22.56%. This was mainly due to the decrease of 23.72% in tournament poker, representing 68.29% of this market. Compared to the previous year, cash poker decreased by 19.92% and accounted for 31.71% of the poker market.