Spain’s regulated gambling market continues to see suboptimal gross gaming revenues. The country’s regulator just published the financial results for the first quarter of the year. According to them, GGR experienced a decline of almost 15%.
Revenues Declined Across the Board
The Director General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) reported that the sector earned about $215 million during Q1. This is notably a 14.8% year-on-year decrease, showing that the industry is not doing so well.
The silver lining is that the revenues for Q1 of 2022 were still stronger than those in Q4 last year. For reference, the previous quarter saw the sector earn only $185 million, driven by low customer activity.
Taking a look at how the various segments performed, it becomes clear that sports betting is one of the key reasons the overall revenues drop. During the first three months of the year, sports betting earned only $69 million, which is 40.9% less than what it earned in Q1 of 2021. Still, the sector seems to be somewhat recovering as this revenue demonstrates a dramatic increase from the measly $46 million the industry posted in Q4 last year.
Revenues from poker also declined. The vertical posted revenue of almost $26 million, which is 2% less than what it earned in Q1 2021. In a similar fashion to sports betting, these revenues actually represent a quarter-on-quarter increase as poker earned 19% more than in Q4 2021.
Bingo revenues dropped across the board as the $3.8 million the sector earned represents a 12.2% quarter-on-quarter decline and a 0.17% year-on-year decline.
Casino was the only segment that actually saw favorable financial results. The segment earned about $116 million. Notably, this is an 11.5% year-on-year increase.
Low Customer Activity Led to Weak Results
The lower revenues are related to a lower customer number. According to DGOJ’s official data, about 1.03 million Spaniards actively played in Q1 2022. Comparing this with Q1 2021, the aforementioned number represents an 8.9% decline.
In addition, there are far fewer newcomers to the sector. There were only 186,234 new registrations during the first quarter, which is a 12.8% quarter-on-quarter decline and a whopping 55.9% year-on-year decline.
Meanwhile, the Spanish government continues to crack down on gambling ads which will likely hurt the sector in the long run. In 2020, the country restricted almost all forms of gambling advertisements, allowing companies to broadcast launch ads in the early morning hours.
While the constitutionality of this ban is currently being reviewed, it is still taking its toll on the local sector.