Spanish GGR dragged down once again by low betting margins

By Daniel O'Boyle

The Spanish betting sector was once again hampered by low sports betting margins in Q2, with operators keeping less than 2.5% of stakes for the fourth consecutive quarter.

Overall gambling revenue in the country came to €203.9m. This was down 5.6% year-on-year, despite overall stakes rising by 8.3% to €7.12bn.

Sports betting revenue remained low at €60.9m, which was down 33.8% year-on-year and down by 6.7% from Q1.

Yet again, the reason for the low sports betting revenue was poor margins. Betting stakes – at €2.81bn, were up by 5.0% year-on-year. This meant that the margin for sportsbook operators was only 2.2% – the fourth consecutive quarter in which it was below 2.5%.

Margins were low across all types of bets, at 2.6% for pre-game sports bets, 1.8% for in-game sports bets and 4.8% for horse racing.

On the other hand, the casino sector continued its growth, bringing in €117.2m in Q2, up 17.3% year-on-year. This came on stakes of €3.74bn. Slots made up €71.4m of this total, up 23.0%, while live roulette revenue was up by 15.4% to €34.1m. Random-number generator roulette revenue declined by 5.9% to €6.2m and blackjack revenue dipped by 3.9% to €5.4m.

Elsewhere, bingo revenue was up by 2.7% to €3.4m, while poker revenue grew by 10.8% to €22.5m.

Marketing spend

Meanwhile, the industry continued to be heavily affected by the ban on many forms of ads that came into force last year. All betting sponsorship deals with Spanish clubs were terminated 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.

Total marketing spend was €89.6m, which was down by 30.3% from Q2 of 2021.

With most forms of sponsorship banned, spend in this area plummeted by 95.1% to just €375,479. Meanwhile, traditional ad spend was cut in half, to €31.9m.

Spending on affiliate marketing also fell by double digits, dropping by 21.4% to €7.9m.

Free bets were the only marketing channel that proved to be resilient, increasing by 0.6% to €49.5m.

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