Spain registers a downfall of the online sports betting revenue in Q2

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Without the World Cup filling the fans’ hearts, sports betting was the sector to fall in Spain’s online gambling market in the second quarter of this year. The fixed-odds sports betting sector took a hit in Q2, and the numbers are here to prove it.

The gambling regulatory body in Spain is called the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ). It showed that the locally licensed operators for online sports betting generated 178.4 million dollars in revenue per 3 months, until June 30. This revenue represents a 6.7% increase compared to the same period of the year in 2018, but it also represents a fall of 7.9% from this year’s Q1.

The percentage drop was registered because of the sequential fall of the sports betting sector in Spain’s online gambling market. The vertical’s revenue of 86.5 million dollars registered a 1.3% drop from one year to another, but the drop between the Q1 and Q2 of 2019 reached a peak of 15%.

The traditional fixed-odds wagers suffered the most, as they fell at an alarming percentage of 31.2%, while the in-play betting, which is also the largest part of the sector, only fell with 4.5%. Following several years back, the figures show different dynamics. The pre-match betting revenue only fell 26.2%, in comparison with the in-play betting, which fell 18.5%.

The turnover from betting dropped 2.8% from Q1 but boosted by 3.2% year-on-year, which means that the licensed sportsbook in Spain turned out to be unlucky in the customer-company dealings.

The online gambling market tried to compensate for the decline of the whole industry by generating a 69 million dollars revenue, which is up to 22.2% in comparison to last year, and also a 4% increase in comparison to Q1. Pokies are the games which generated the largest part of the revenue, as one would expect, rising 31.9%, representing 40.3 million dollars. A new record for the vertical was registered by casinos, which claimed 38.7% from the Q2 revenue.

Spain introduced shared liquidity with Portugal and France to help this sector grow. However, this poker vertical still struggles, generating revenue of only 19.4 million dollars. It is negative growth in comparison with last year, registering a 0.5% drop, and this is also true in sequential terms, which registered an 8.5% drop. The poker tournament revenue dropped 12.3% sequentially, and the cash game revenue also dropped, but only by 1.6%.

When it comes to the gambling sectors with no so much attention, the bingo revenue dropped 7.7% in comparison with last year, generation 3 million dollars. The contest segment is continuing its path to becoming irrelevant, and it also dropped by one half to only 470k, representing a lesser and lesser percentage of the total revenue per quarter.

Analysing the year-on-year number of new account signups, there is a decline to be seen, which reached 12%, even though the number of active accounts remained flat. The Spanish operators marketing budgets also went down, as they spent 10.3% less than in Q1 and the sponsorship was the segment which decreased the most, by 24.3%. The advertising budget was also cut by 14.6%. However, the sponsorship figure increase in comparison with last year, by 8.9%.

The gambling advertising sector might not look so good in the future either, as Spain is currently examining if to impose draconian new limits or not. The government has not yet indicated if it is going to take on and act accordingly to the gambling’s authority recommendations on such matters.

All these factors contribute to an uncertain and slightly volatile gambling market in Spain, determining big players, such as Kindred Group, to withdraw its application for a Spanish gambling license. But, fortunately, there are some which do not see the gambling industry in Spain with such eyes and continue to pursue the country’s gambling license. One such example is Betfred.

There was much criticism regarding the advertising limit proposals, and they were based on the fact that the state-run Once and Selae lotteries have been getting away with not so responsible practices, especially when it came to underage customers.

A Madrid court ordered Selae lottery in June to block its online sales within 90 days. But this order was not given to conduct responsible gambling online, but rather to protect land-based lottery sellers. However, online lottery sales are becoming a more and more important aspect of Selae’s turnover, which shows double-digit increases.

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