The Q1 2021 report on the evolution of the online gambling market in Spain has recently been published by the General Directorate of Gaming Regulation (DGOJ). Until 2021, the number of deposits was calculated by adding the deposits informed by each of the operators. The same was done with withdrawals. As of 2021, deposit and withdrawal transactions between companies of the same group are consolidated, with the information in the Internal Control System also defined on a consolidated basis. This adjustment will be applied retroactively both to the quarterly report and to the annual report of the State Online Gambling Market.
The GGR for the quarter was €240.08 million (USD 284.4 million), which represents an increase of 3.8% compared to the previous quarter and of 10.19% compared to the same quarter of 2020.
Tables with annual comparison data:
About the rest of the main magnitudes, players’ deposits and withdrawals increased with respect to the previous quarter by 6.08% and 6.41%, respectively. Marketing spending was down by 1.74% compared to the previous quarter and new accounts evolved 7.92% versus the previous quarter.
Tables with main magnitudes:
Variations with respect to the same quarter of the previous year reflected an increase in all concepts.
In the analysis of the GGR by gambling segments, it is observed that the total of €240.08 million (USD 284.4 million) is distributed among the following verticals: a) Betting €110.3 million or USD 130.69 million (45.94%); b) Casino €99.5 million, USD 117.89 million (41.44%); c) Poker €24.95 million, USD 29.56 million (10.39%); d) Bingo €3.6 million, USD 3.27 million (1.50%), and e) Contests €1.73 million, USD 2.05 million (0.72%).
DEEPER EXPLORATION BY SEGMENT
The betting segment had a 6.52% growth rate compared to the previous quarter (Q4 2020) and a decrease of 0.25% compared to the same quarter of the previous year (Q1 2020). Conventional fixed-odds sports betting elevated by 27.77% and live betting fell by 7.69% compared to the previous quarter. In this quarter, other fixed-odds betting advanced by 8.3%.
In the casino segment, there has been a 1.71% growth compared to the fourth quarter of 2020 and a positive annual variation rate of 28.31%. This annual growth was expressed by a 26.76% rise in slot machines and a 54.43% upsurge in live roulette, with positive quarterly variations of 3.26% and 1.22%, respectively. In this quarter, conventional roulette decreased its rate compared to the previous quarter by 4.42% and by 28.49% in the annual rate, in favor of live roulette.
Poker showed a slight growth of 0.04% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter and of 3.11% compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Both cash poker and tournament poker had better results, registering a positive quarterly variation rate of 0.08% and 0.02%, respectively. In comparison with the same quarter of the previous year, cash poker decreased by 17.94% and tournament poker increased by 13.67%.
For its part, bingo experienced a 7.66% reduction compared to the previous quarter, and a 2.42% fall compared to the same quarter of 2020.
In this quarter, contests evolved by 61.96% (v. Q4 2020) and were down by 7.59% in the annual variation rate. This segment presented an irregular behavior, with annual variation rates in the first quarter of -80.20% in 2018; +368.97% in 2019; and +99.50% in 2020.
As a result of these indicators, the percentage distribution of the GGR for the different segments in the first quarter of each year, for the period 2018 to 2021, is shown in this table.
MARKETING, ACCOUNTS AND LICENSES DATA
Marketing spending in the Q1 2021 accumulated a total of €148.37 million (USD 175.8 million), and can be divided into the following items: a) €71.45 million (USD 84.66 million) from advertising; b) €56 million (USD 66.35 million) from promotions; c) €12.4 million (USD 14.69 million) from affiliation expenses, and d) €8.53 million (USD 10.11 million) from sponsorships.
Compared to the previous quarter, this general spending diminished by 1.74% due to a decrease in all items, except from affiliation expenses, which augmented by 1.16%. When compared to the data of the previous year (first quarter of 2020), rates are positive in all types of marketing modalities. In this quarter, promotions have been separated between bonuses released in prized (€20.34 million, USD 24.1 million) and bonuses not included in prizes (€35.66 million, USD 42.25 million).
The monthly average of active gaming accounts was 1.1186 million, which implies a growth of 6.42% versus the previous quarter and an annual variation of +22.73%. The monthly average of new accounts was 422,533 users, with a quarterly and annual increase of 7.92% and 43.51%, respectively.
Of the 80 licensed operators, during the first quarter of 2021, the following ones had been working in the different gaming segments: Betting: 44, Casino: 51, Poker: 9, Bingo: 3 and Contests: 2.
The Spanish online gambling and betting industry has performed well in the Q1 2021, following the global recovery trend after pandemic lockdown and the return of live sports events after June 2020. In terms of the GGR, it has had a 4% improve in Q1 2021 versus last quarter of 2020, and a +20% when looking at numbers of the same quarter of 2020. Casino vertical has grown almost 30% in an annual base, while sports betting recovered after a slight downfall when live events were not available. This segment is now in a good trend to go back to the usual positive figures of times before pandemic.
The advertising restrictions ban has not impacted yet in marketing numbers, but it eventually will. I consider we won’t see its effects until Q3 2021, when traditional sports leagues come back live. If I would have to predict how the Spanish market will evolve, I would say it will stay stable and continue to improve performance, especially in the casino vertical (+30% in slots and +55% in live roulette, in terms of revenue), with sports betting recovering regular enthusiastic numbers. In this sense, I can estimate the Spanish online gaming market to have a GGR performance of €950 million to €1 billion (USD 1.13 to 1.18 billion) by the end of 2021, if the pandemic does not affect live sports events, with the casino segment continue gaining a strong position.