The University of Carlos III Madrid and the CODERE Foundation have presented their Annual Report on Gambling in Spain. The latest edition of the report was presented at the University campus this year and was compiled via the University’s Institute for Policy and Governance (IPOLGOB).

Amongst those present were the CEO of Codere Vicente Di Loreto and the head of The Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) Juan Espinosa García.

According to the report, the sports betting market in Spain has multiplied almost 2.5 times in six years and has gone from €303.3m (after subtracting prize money) in 2012 to €742m in 2017. Over this period, the industry has grown at a rate of 20 per cent per year (except between 2016 and 2017 when its growth slowed slightly and stood at 17.4 per cent).

The games that have grown the most in the last year, after sports betting, were the ONCE (the lottery in aid of the blind) instant lotteries. Slot parlours came in third place while betting via casinos and bingo halls remained relatively stable with a slight growth of around 4 per cent. Meanwhile quiniela and coupon betting is on the decline while betting via traditional Christmas lottery increased by 6.1 per cent.

When it comes to sports betting, 90 per cent of the total is now divided at 50 per cent between those bets made in person at betting houses and those made via the internet. The remaining 10 per cent was gambled on quinielas. The increase in land-based sports betting is because several autonomous communities have authorised sports betting shops. According to José Antonio Gómez, author of the report, in 2019 there will be an even greater increase via sports betting shops as they are now permitted in Andalusia, which accounts for 25 per cent of the Spanish market.

According to report, overall gaming has grown for the third consecutive year in Spain. In 2017, GGR stood at €9,408 million, eight per cent more than in 2015. 94 per cent corresponded to the land based market and 6 per cent to online gambling.

The greatest growth occurred in the online space which grew more than 30 per cent with relatively similar increases in all games apart from competitions and poker. In the face-to-face segment, betting via slot halls increased by 15.9 per cent and sports betting by 15.7 per cent. Gaming now represents 0.9 per cent of GDP in Spain and last year, the industry generated 84,702 direct jobs. The industry has also increased taxes contributing to €1,657.4m in special gambling taxes to the public coffers.

The report comes after a recent agreement with the government and the Podemos Party to restrict gambling advertising in Spain. The new agreement could have a significant impact on the industry and revenues. The Podemos party now considers gambling addiction to be a health issue due to the increasing size of the local gaming market. Its proposals would directly prohibit the advertising of sportsbooks, prevent gambling halls being close to schools, regulate promotions and would raise taxes on gambling. While the Finance Ministry has rejected raising taxes the new draft which is now being prepared would restrict advertising times and promotions.

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