Spanish Online Gambling Market Grows 274% in Five Years

  • Around 1% of Spain’s adult population currently gamble on a regular basis
  • More local casinos are available than ever before
  • Spain has the largest population of teenage gamblers in Europe
Spanish supporters cheering at stadium with flags
According to new statistics, the Spanish online gambling market is growing at a higher rate than any other country in the Eurozone. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

High-growth market

A new survey states that the Spanish online gambling market has grown 274% since 2014.

Income from online gambling and betting services grew from a total of €117.2 million ($128.97 million) in Q1 2014 to €439.1 million ($483.67 million) in the first quarter of 2019.

Numbers across the rest of the Eurozone as a whole have traditionally been much lower due to regulatory concerns continuing to disrupt the industry.

Could rise above $550 million

With the Spanish economy growing by around 0.5% each quarter throughout the last two years, the survey suggests that online gambling revenue could rise above €500 million ($550 million) in the next few years.

The biggest increase in revenue occurred between Q3 and Q4 in 2017 moving from €274.5 million ($302.36 million) to €364.4 million ($401.39 million). This highlights growth of 32% in just a single quarter.

Interestingly, this growth is similar to that of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies during the same period. With some online casinos accepting Bitcoin, the two could be related. Although, cryptocurrencies have seen a sharp decline in usage since December 2017.

Local casinos cashing in

While income may be up, studies have shown that only around 1% of Spain’s adult population currently gamble on a regular basis.

The topic was raised in the June publication of Gambling and Society 2019 after the report was released by CEJUEGO, the industry association representing Spain’s private gambling operators, and the Institute of Policy and Governance of the Carlos III University of Madrid.

However, despite increased online competition it seems to be local casinos that are cashing in. In Madrid alone, another 40 gambling houses have opened their doors since 2013, an increase of 300%.

Europe’s largest population of teen gamblers

Spain has also been in the news recently for having Europe’s highest proportion of teenage gamblers.

One in five teens told the Federation of Rehabilitated Gamblers and Madrid’s Association of Psychologists that they gambled. The study considered the attitudes toward gambling of people aged between 14 and 21 years old.

the Spanish government recently announced that it wants to ban gambling advertisements

In order to combat the potential for vulnerable harm, the Spanish government recently announced that it wants to ban gambling advertisements, similar to the blanket ban imposed in Italy. Spain has already banned tobacco and alcohol ads on television.

However, there is currently no restriction regarding what time of day gambling can be advertised, or which celebrities can endorse it.