Spain’s online gambling market has continued its year-over-year growth, according to figures posted by its gambling regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ).
Spain-facing operators generated a total of €121.3 million in gross gaming revenue during the three months to June 30, 2017, up 22.6% year-on-year.
Spain, as one of Europe’s regulated jurisdictions, has been among the active participants in the shared online poker liquidity project, which has represented a great amount of Casino News Daily’s headlines over the past several months.
Earlier this month, the gambling regulators of Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal signed their first shared liquidity agreement, the result from discussions which were initiated last summer. Back in June 2016, ARJEL, France’s iGaming regulatory body, was allowed to enter shared liquidity negotiations and eventual agreements in a bid to improve the country’s ailing online poker industry.
Online poker has not performed particularly well in Italy and Spain, as well, over the past several years. Proper assessments cannot be made about Portugal, as the country’s market is less than eight months old and still developing. Not to mention the fact that PokerStars is the only licensed operator to be servicing Portuguese players.
Some of the figures released by DGOJ came as yet another indication to the urgent need for measures that would vitalize Europe’s online poker. And here are how Spain’s online poker market performed during this year’s second quarter.
Gross gaming revenue from online poker amounted to €14.4 million during the reported period, up 4.9% from a year earlier. Poker volume totaled €383.2 million, up 1.8% year-on-year. However, the picture is not that bright when cash games and tournament poker are considered separately.
While tournament poker seems to have performed quite well during the reviewed quarter, the cash game poker market shrunk significantly. Revenue from tournaments totaled €8.8 million in the three months to June 30, up 21.1% year-on-year. Volume increased 16.5% to €145.4 million.
On the other hand, cash games generated revenue of €5.6 million during the reported three months, down 13.3% from a year earlier. Volume amounted to €237.8 million, reflecting a 5.45% year-on-year.
Spain has five licensed poker rooms – PokerStars, 888poker, iPoker, partypoker, and International, of which PokerStars and 888poker are the largest ones with weekly average of 600 and 180 cash game players, respectively.
While it is too early to say whether the shared liquidity project would be a successful one, it should be noted that regulators have apparently recognized the need for actions to be taken, and urgent ones.
The online poker markets of Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal are all ring-fenced and thus, limiting players from the respective countries with smaller pools they might be wishing for. Once the first online poker network is launched, which is expected to happen in late 2017 or early 2018, the four markets’ player pools will be merged and players will thus be able to face a larger number of peers.