Gaming revenue in Spain fell in the second quarter as gambling reform approached

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

Last update on: September 13, 2022, 7:19 a.m.

Spain’s gaming industry has been strong, but it’s been in decline this year. After a slower first quarter, the second quarter also saw year-over-year declines.

An exterior staircase painted with the flag of Spain. The country’s gambling revenue plummeted in the second quarter ahead of further reforms in the country. (Picture: Unsplash)

The first quarter of 2022 resulted in a 14.83% year-over-year decline in gross gaming revenue (GGR) with its €204.4 million ($215.17 million). The second quarter total, according to the General Directorate and Regulation of Gaming (DGOJ, for its Spanish acronym), was 203.9 million euros ($207.36 million). This represents a decrease of 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

At the same time, however, user deposits and withdrawals increased by 0.55% and 9.82%, respectively, compared to the first quarter. New registrations fell 5.45% and businesses spent 4.76% less on marketing than in the previous quarter.

Sports betting weighs on the market

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

The sports betting segment shows a decline rate compared to the previous quarter of 6.69%. It was also 33.78% lower than a year earlier. Classic fixed odds sports betting was up 15.21%, while live betting was down 23.09% from the previous quarter. Standing out among the rest, fixed-odds horse racing betting grew by 172.61%.

In the casino segment, there was growth of 5.57% compared to the first quarter of 2022 and a positive annual rate of change of 17.33%. This growth came mainly from slots, which added 23% and live roulette and its improvement of 15.4%.

Poker gave the second quarter of 2022 a decline of 7.86% compared to the first quarter. However, this is also an increase of 10.77% compared to the same quarter last year.

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

Spain changed its gambling laws, which reduced advertising and sponsorships. However, a constitutionality test of the measures is underway.

The monthly average of active gaming accounts is 996,149, implying a decrease of 2.42% quarter over quarter. The monthly average for new accounts is 146,057 users, with a quarterly decline of 5.45% and an annual decline of just under 26%.

A new era of gaming

An updated Spanish gambling regulation bill is back before congressional lawmakers. He has made several appearances this year, and the Senate could vote on him this Thursday.

The main themes of the reform relate to responsible gambling and research. Spain is redefining what constitutes responsible gambling from the point of view of operators, adding new safeguards and controls.

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

There is another element that could appear on Thursday. Spain is grappling with the topic of loot boxes and their gambling implications. Senate lawmakers could state their stance on the matter in the vote.

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