According to figures from regulator the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), this came despite the fact that players deposited €2.77bn during the year, which was 216% more than in 2020, while turnover rose by 25.8% to €27.17bn.
For the first time, casino was the largest driver of online GGR, bringing in €407.1m in 2021, up 16.0%. Online casino revenue has grown year-on-year in every year in which DGOJ has recorded data.
Breaking this online casino revenue down further, slots brought in €241.4m, up 23.0%, while live roulette revenue grew 18.6% to €120.6m. Blackjack revenue was €23.2m, down 5.7%, while for RNG roulette this figure dipped by 27.2% to €22.0m.
Revenue from betting, which was previously the leading vertical, was down 16.2% to €305.9m, the lowest figure since 2016.
Of this total, €192.2m came from €5.81bn worth of in-play sports bets, while €114.9m in revenue came from live sports betting as players staked €4.65bn. Horse racing, meanwhile, contributed negative revenue on bets worth €355.1m.
Poker revenue came to €85.4m, which was 22.7% less than in 2020. This included €58.3m from cash games and €27.1m from tournaments.
Total stakes from each vertical, however, increased. Casino stakes were up 50.0% to €13.60bn, betting stakes rose to €11.07bn while poker stakes increased by 8.8% to €2.40bn.
In addition, 2021 was the first full year since a number of strict new marketing restrictions came into effect in Spain. All betting sponsorship deals with Spanish clubs were banned for the start of the 2021-22 football season, while advertising on TV and radio was restricted to the hours of 1am to 5am, a measure that extends to videos on YouTube.
Amid these new measures, marketing spend for Spanish operators dipped by 0.9% year-on-year.
Advertisements – both in media and in person – remained the main form of marketing, as spend ticked up slightly to €205.0m. Affiliate spending, meanwhile, grew by 6.7% to €41.1m. Bonus spending, on the other hand, dipped by 1.1% to €195.0m.
Given the new rules, sponsorship spend dropped by 29.3% to €19.0m.