The latest report from the Spanish gaming regulator, Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) has revealed that online poker is still struggling to establish itself in the country. This is despite the fact that overall online gaming revenues have continued to grow by a substantial 44.54 percent to €94.76 million.
According to the report, gross gaming revenues (GGR) from the online poker industry has fallen by 12.46 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, declining from €16.63 million during the same period in 2014 to €14.56. This was however a marginal increase of 0.98 percent over the previous quarter revenues of €14.42 million.
Industry observers have said that if the proposal to have shared liquidity between poker players across European markets comes through, then Spain’s online poker revenues is likely to improve. Regulated poker sites in countries like France are currently prohibited from sharing international player pools with other sites including European ones and players cannot legally access online poker websites in other countries.
If the sharing of liquidities is allowed, then sites in France and Portugal would be able to link up to sites in Spain. PokerStars which is Spain’s largest poker website would be the key beneficiary from this arrangement. Winamax, the largest poker website in France would be another big beneficiary. The implementation of this system will of course need legislative changes in all countries involved and that could prove to be challenging.
Online gaming revenue in Spain, on other hand, has witnessed strong growth. The overall online gaming market in Spain registered GGR of €94.76 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, which was a 44.54 percent rise from €65.57 million recorded in the same period in 2014. The revenues were a 12.58 percent increase over the previous quarter when it saw revenues of €84.18 million.
Deposits in Spain’s gaming websites went up similarly. The DGOJ said that there were deposits to the tune of €242.07 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 which was a 39.71 percent rise over same period last year when it was €173.27 million. The deposits registered 17.63 percent increase over the deposits in the third quarter of 2015.
A possible reason for this substantial growth in online gaming could be the intensive marketing efforts of gaming operators. In the fourth quarter of 2015, online gaming operators spent close to €23.27 million in marketing which was an increase of 15.59 percent over the same period in 2014 and 29 percent increase over the previous quarter. Online gaming operators have estimated to have spent €17.99 million during the third quarter of 2015.