Part of company’s expansion plan
Competition in Spain is hotting up, and it’s not just the heatwave Europe has experienced this week.
LeoVegas has been awarded a license that will allow it to provide services such as an online casino and sports betting platform in Spain. The license was granted by the Spanish gambling regulator, Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego.
It’s all part of the company’s plan to expand across regulated markets and emerging markets, as well. The operator has confirmed that it will be launching its Spanish website imminently.
LeoVegas already held licenses in seven European countries: the UK, Malta, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, Ireland, and the tiny German state of Schleswig-Holstein.
The company has already revamped the iGaming business in Sweden after winning a license from the Swedish Gambling Authority.
It’s thought that LeoVegas applied for a Spanish license in December 2018 when it commented on the growth the sector had undertaken. Figures show that the Spanish market grew 20% during the first quarter of the year with sports betting the majority stakeholder. Revenue for the sector was around €100.8m (£90.0m; $113.8m) by the end of March this year (up 26% year-on-year).
While the company has only just received its official license in Spain, it has been practicing, in a way, by conducting test launches in Peru and Chile, according to CEO Gustav Hagman.
In a recent statement, he said, “We welcome Spain as our seventh locally regulated market. With LeoVegas’ position as ‘King of Casino,’ we are now entering Spain with the ambition to take the mobile position and offer the ultimate gaming experience. The Spanish online gambling market have a strong underlying growth with over 20% per year. The Spanish license is an important step in our continued expansion, in other Spanish-speaking countries, where we have already conducted test launches in Peru and Chile.”
The company will be banking on a large uptake in Spain because only a small proportion of the population gambles online, just 13% compared with 50% in Sweden. LeoVegas will hope to entice them with state-of-the-art technology, as reviewed here, which is currently developed in Sweden although the company is operated from their home country of Malta.
With interest in sports betting piqued by the recent developments in the US, LeoVegas is among the handful of operators who are pinning their hopes on developing the sports betting interest in Europe as a complementary alternative to that of online casinos. This additional string to their bow is decidedly on the upswing, as the Spanish gaming market alone is worth €1bn (£890m; $1.13bn) this year, according to H2 Gaming Capital.