Low betting margins continue to hinder Spanish industry in Q1

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Gambling revenue in Spain was down year-on-year again in Q1 of 2022, due to continued anaemic sports betting margins.

According to data from regulator the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), gross gaming revenue was down by 14.8% to €204.4m. However this marked a 16.3% quarter-on-quarter increase.

Revenue fell despite an increase in stakes, which grew 5.3% year-on-year to €7.41bn, a new record high. Deposits, meanwhile, grew by 4.3% year-on-year – or 7.1% quarter-on quarter – to €769.8m.
A similar trend emerged in 2021, when revenue was down despite a significant increase in stakes.

Breaking down revenue by vertical, sports betting revenue continued to be low at €65.2m, a 40.9% fall from Q1 2021, but up 49.1% from Q4 of that year.

Sports betting stakes remained high at €3.06bn, up 10.6% year-on-year, as it had done in H2 2021. This suggests a sports betting margin of just 2.1%. Margins were low across all sports, but lowest in horse racing at 1.4%.

House-banked casino gaming, on the other hand, performed well, with revenue of €111.0m, an 11.5% year-on-year increase. Of this total, €64.9m came from slots, up 1.2%, and €34.3m from roulette, down 5.2%. Stakes for the vertical were up 4.7% to €3.72bn.

Poker brought in an additional €20.5m, down 2.0% from 2021, while bingo revenue came to €3.6m.

Data from DGOJ also showed the impact of the country’s wide-ranging marketing restrictions. Marketing expenditure fell 27.7% compared to last year at €107.9m.
Facing fewer restrictions, affiliate marketing benefitted, with spend jumping 84.0% to €22.7m. Sponsorship spend dropped from €9.4m to just €632,784, after it was effectively banned, while traditional ad spend was slashed to €34.4m. 

Free bets became the largest form of marketing, though operator investment was down 10.5% at €50.7m.

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