Posted on: August 3, 2022, 07:32h. 

Last updated on: August 3, 2022, 01:36h.

The gambling market in Spain changed last year, as gamblers spent more in land-based venues than they did online. An update from the country’s gaming regulator breaks down by sector how much things changed.

Spain gambling
Spain’s flag in front of a government building in Madrid. The country’s online gaming segment dropped in 2021, although sports betting continues to be strong. (Image: Unsplash)

A few months ago, the General Directorate of Gambling Regulation (DGOJ, for its Spanish acronym) showed that online gamblers, in general, spent 4% less last year than they did in 2020. The regulator has now published two reports to show where they made the cuts: the Analysis of the Online Player Profile 2021, and an update to the Annual Report of the State of Online Gambling Market of 2021.

The DGOJ showed that the Spanish online consumer spent an average of €523 (US$532) throughout last year. This was 2% less compared to the €534 (US$543) from 2020.

Online Gamblers Control Their Spending

The number of active online players last year was 1,470,303. This represents a year-on-year decrease of 0.6%. Of that figure, 84.52% of active players are between the ages of 18 and 45.

Last year, the average net spend per active player in Spain was €43.58 (US$44.39) per month. However, according to the DGOJ, the average expenditure only considers the set of online gamblers, not from the general adult population.

Of all active players, 82.73% are men and 17.27% are women. Men spent an average of €583 (US$593), while women’s spending reached €234 (US$238).

The highest average annual expenditure is for the age range between 36 and 45 years, with €837 (US$852). On the other hand, the lowest corresponds to players between 18 and 25 years of age, with €202 (US$205).

The most used means of payment was the card, with 72.85%, followed by e-wallets, with 17.9%. The number of deposits went from €2.27 billion (US$2.31 billion) in 2020 to €2.76 billion (US$2.81 billion) in 2021. This represents an increase of 23.03% as the number of operations in the period increased by 24.9%.

Sports Betting Remains Popular

The report also detailed that, as in 2020, the online sports betting category was the segment in which a greater number of people participated. It had 1,136,399 players and an annual variation rate of 8.76%.

Sports betting was followed by online casino, with 656,626 players and a variation of 2.37%. Following it was poker, with 335,712 players and a variation of -24.25%. Bingo found its niche consumer, with 101,754 players in 2021.

The DGOJ indicated that 59.54% played only one segment, of which 43.64% played only sports betting. 8.17% played only online casino games, while 6.39% and 1.34% played poker and bingo, respectively.

Adjusting for the inclusion of new figures, the net margin for online gambling was €815.2 million (US$830 million). This is only slightly lower than the €815.3 million (US$830.05 million) recorded in the first edition of the report from earlier this year.

In the analysis of the net margin by gaming segments, online casino games were the big winner. Their figure was €407.3 million (US$414.67 million) for 48.2% of the total.

Next was sports betting, with €333.6 million (US$339.57 million) and 39.5%. Finally, bingo, lotteries, and other games appeared on the list as well, but only with low, single-digit activity.

The mixed results for last year coincide with those from other markets. As countries removed COVID-19 restrictions, land-based gaming witnessed an increase in activity, cutting into the online segment’s performance. In Spain in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, online gaming increased by 14% from 2019.