Spanish gambling revenue grew 12.5% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020, thanks to growth across all verticals including sports betting, despite the suspension of major sporting events from mid-March due to novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
Revenue for the three months to 31 March rose to €218.0m (£195.4m/$246.0m), according to the Dirección General del Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), with players staking €4.80bn during the period, up 3.6%.
During the quarter there were 911,218 active accounts over the month, up marginally year-on-year, though new account sign ups grew 5.6% to 289,340.
Turning to revenue by vertical, sports betting led the way, with its €110.6m contribution up 8.7% year-on-year and accounting for 50.8% of the quarterly total. This was driven by fixed-odds betting, for which revenue was up 13.1% to €46.3m, though in-play betting accounted for the bulk of revenue, at €61.3m up 4.0% from the prior year.
The biggest rise – though from a low base – was in fixed-odds betting on other events, which saw revenue jump 91.3% to €1.8m.
For casino, revenue was up 16.8% at €77.6m. Slots contributed €43.2m, up 15.7%, while the biggest year-on-year rise was recorded for live roulette, which saw revenue grow 35.6% to €18.4m. Standard online roulette also performed strongly, with revenue up 16.7% to €10.7m.
Blackjack, on the other hand, struggled during the quarter with revenue falling 17.1% to €5.3m, and punto y banca revenue plummeted 79.2% to just €614.
Poker, a product that has enjoyed a return to prominence amid the sporting shutdown, saw revenue grow 13.1% at €24.2m. This, the DGOJ said, was down to a 15.9% hike in tournament revenue to €16.1m, with the cash game contribution up 7.9% to €8.1m.
Bingo contributed a further €3.7m (up 14.7%), with the contribution from contests (where players pay to enter a prize draw) almost doubling to €1.9m.
Marketing investment by operators rose 28.3% in Q1 to €118.2m, with the biggest increase in spending coming for bonusing, up 45.9% to €42.4m. This broke down to €20.0m in bonuses awarded as prizes, and €22.3m in monetary bonuses such as sign-up offers.
This second category is to be banned, however, under new advertising rules notified to the European Commission this week. This would also block gambling operators from shirt sponsorship deals, on which the industry spent €6.0m in Q1.
The bulk of marketing spend remained focused on advertising, which accounted for €59.5m of the total, up 24.0%. A further €10.3m was spend on affiliate partnerships, up 1.1%.