Thursday September 12,2013 : SPANISH ONLINE GAMBLING REVENUES DECLINE
Q2-2013 shows a quarter-on-quarter dip of 10 percent in GGR.
Because it only launched in mid-2012, year-on-year performance comparisons in the Spanish online gambling market are not yet possible, but looking at the latest quarterly reportage from regulator La Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego, progress is slow and halting.
Figures for Q2-2013 released by the DGOJ this week portray a struggling sector:
* Gross gaming revenue of Euro 55.4 million, down 10 percent on the preceding quarter.
* Turnover down 7 percent to Euro 1.3 billion.
* New player monthly average sign-ups down in the first half of 2013 from 176,000 to 126,000, although the regulator points out that at 1.42 million there was a fifteen percent improvement in the number of Q2 registered players compared with the previous quarter.
* Average active monthly player numbers in H1-2013 down to 279,338 from 2012's second half of 407,162.
Drilling down into the stats reveals:
* Online sports betting revenue off q-on-q 13% to Euro 26.8 million.
* Online poker revenue down to Euro 16.4 million from the porevioius quarter's Euro 17.9 million, with tournament's generating 12 percent less, and cash games down 7 percent.
* Online casino revenue down 4 percent to Euro 8.5 million.
* Online bingo up at Euro 1.8 million.
The Spanish market share of each gambling genre looked like this in the second quarter:
* Sports betting contributed the lions share of revenues, claiming 48.4 percent of overall revenues.
* Poker contributed 29.6 percent, divided between tournaments at 9.6 percent and cash games at 20 percent.
* Casino gaming held 15 percent.
* Bingo 3.2 percent.
The regulator accurately summed up the situation thus:
“In the absence of more information to assess the possible seasonality impact, it can be concluded that, following strong growth of the online gambling market (both in terms of stakes, GGR and players) in the first months after regulation of the sector began in June 2012 which continued into the second half of 2012, the first and second quarter of 2013 have been marked by a reduction/stagnation of the online gambling market.”
The Spanish numbers reflect the constraints of a dedicated market, especially as regards online poker, and will no doubt spur the DGOJ on in its negotiations for a shared player pool with other ring-fenced markets such as Italy and France.
A more energetic approach to pursuing illegal and unlicensed operators with multi-million Euro fines and more diligently applied blocking measures may also give heavily taxed Spanish licensees more heart; just this week the nascent Dutch regulatory regime launched prosecutions of this nature against an online gambling firm (see previous InfoPowa report).
On the bright side, the market can expect more action when online slots and exchange betting – both expected in the future – are licensed.