Gaming Revenue in Spain Dipped in Q2 As Gambling Reform Approaches

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

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

Q1 of 2022 brought a 14.83% year-on-year drop in gross gaming revenue (GGR) with its €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, though, 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, and poker brought in €22.5 million (US$22.81 million), or 11.05%.

The sports betting segment has a decrease rate compared to the previous quarter of 6.69%. It was also 33.78% less than 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 has been a 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 gave the second quarter of 2022 a decrease of 7.86% compared to Q1. However, this was also an increase of 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. However, 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.

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