Spain Records Surge in Online Casino Gaming, Decline in Sports Betting During COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Q2 revenues increased by 17.7% year-on-year for the overall online gambling market
  • Sports betting numbers declined because of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Online slots revenue helped to drive the internet casino increase
  • Advertising spending was down because of pandemic restrictions
Chips, dice, and cards on a laptop keyboard
Spain enjoyed 17.7% year-over-year online gambling growth in Q2 thanks to online casino and poker success offsetting declines in sports betting. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Casino and poker growth

Spain’s online gambling market enjoyed 17.7% year-on-year growth in the second quarter of 2020 as an increase in online casino games and poker helped offset a decrease in sports betting revenues during the same time frame.

For the three months time ending June 30, total gross revenues declined by 4.2% when compared to the first quarter of the year, finishing at €208.9m ($245.2m).

Customer stakes came in at €2.86bn ($3.3bn), a jump of more than 25%.

For online casino gaming, the industry saw a huge boost year-over-year, with revenues of €93.5m ($109.5m), an increase of 36.5% from Q2 2019. Customer stakes came in at €2.86bn ($3.3bn), a jump of more than 25%.

Because sports were basically non-existent for much of the quarter because of the pandemic, players seemed to have shifted to online casino gaming. Slots play was up, with a GGR increase of over 30% year-on-year, with €51.9m ($60.8m) generated.

Live roulette was up as well, jumping a whopping 75.7% when compared to Q2 2019. Revenue came in at €27m ($31.6m).

Poker also saw a substantial increase, rising just over 97% to €38.2m ($44.7m) in revenue.

Sports betting drop

As sporting events, including Spain’s soccer leagues, were suspended during the quarter, the sports betting industry suffered a huge blow. Revenues were down 20.8% year-on-year and down 38.4% from Q1. Only €68.1m ($79.8m) in revenues were generated.

Dirección General del Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), Spain’s gambling regulatory body, reported a large drop in betting during the second quarter. Pre-match, fixed-odds bets were down 49%. In-play wagers dropped almost 40% and total stakes across all bet types and products were down just over 40%.

Advertising investment drop

During the same time period, the industry saw a huge decline in license holder investment in advertising. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, new regulations were put in place to restrict television and radio ads to between 1am and 5am. Because of this, companies only spent €17.2m ($20.1m), a decrease of 57.6%.

Bonuses also plunged, as the stricter advertising rules banned cash bonus options. Operators provided only €12.5m ($14.6m) in bonuses, a decrease of 57.3%.

In total, marketing spend by operators dropped across all channels and formats. Total spend was down 50.6% year-on-year to €40.6m ($47.5m).

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