Slots was the star and poker the ugly duckling of Spain’s regulated online gambling market in Q4 2016.
Figures released this week by Spanish gaming regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) show healthy gains in the online gambling market in the three months ending December 31, with overall turnover rising one-fifth to €2.9b, while operator revenue rose nearly one-third to €125.6m.
Sports betting continued to rule the turnover charts, but just barely. Online sports wagers totaled €1.27b in Q4, up 7.7% from Q4 2015, while casino turnover surged 54% to €1.2b. Bingo enjoyed more modest spending gains, rising 16.7% to €18.8m while poker fell nearly 7% to €415.6m.
Sports betting enjoyed much greater dominance in the Q4 revenue standings with €69.8m (+30.6%), well ahead of casino’s €36m, although the casino vertical’s year-on-year growth was far greater at 58.8%. Bingo revenue was up one-fifth to €2.2m while poker eked out a 4.6% gain to €15.2m.
The casino vertical’s surge reflects the DGOJ’s mid-2015 approval of online slots play. Slots accounted for 36% of all online casino spending and 46.7% of casino revenue, as slots turnover rose 110% year-on-year and revenue spiked 98% to €16.8m.
The rise of slots didn’t impede growth in the other casino verticals, as roulette spending rose 32% – with live roulette up 62%, and the ‘conventional’ game up 9.2% – while roulette revenue was up nearly 24% to €12.7m. Online blackjack spending was up 39% and revenue improved over two-thirds to €6.4m.
Cash games accounted for nearly two-thirds of all Q4 poker spending, while tournaments accounted for nearly 56% of poker revenue. Both cash games (-9%) and tournaments (-2.7%) suffered year-on-year spending declines, but tournament revenue was up 16.9% while cash games dropped 7.6%.
In-play betting accounted for the bulk of online sports turnover (70%) and revenue (56%) in Q4.
Q4’s number of newly registered online gamblers was up nearly 10% year-on-year to 598k, while active users enjoyed greater growth, rising 17.3% to over 604k. Operators’ advertising spending spiked more than one-third to €31.7m.