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Report predicts liberalisation of Spanish online gambling market will be a success

19 Dec 2011

LONDON & MUNICH -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- In May the Spanish government passed a law that will transform and liberalise most sectors of the Spanish online gambling market starting at the beginning of 2012. Liberalisation always sounds good, but the question is whether it will turn into a success story in Spain. MECN has analysed the situation in depth and compiled the most comprehensive and detailed report on the Spanish gambling market available.

The Spanish gambling market is currently at the top of the strategic agenda of most industry executives. While other jurisdictions are still figuring out the details of their likely liberalisation, Spain is ready to start right now. The question is whether the liberalisation will turn into a success story for the licensed operators and the Spanish state - according to industry insiders, the hopes are high.

Spanish market has a high relevance – 80% of operators are likely to apply for a license

For most of the global market (over 90% of the experts surveyed) the future relevance of the Spanish online gambling market is high. Therefore it comes as no surprise that nearly all operators (ca. 80% of the operators surveyed) are likely to apply for a license. As one operator keen on a license put it: “Spain is already a key region for us – and we will do everything we can that it stays this way”.

Obtaining a license will pay off financially - Spanish model convinces industry

More and more operators are wondering whether licenses will eventually pay off financially - at least since the partly negative experiences in France. But Spain seems to be a different story as, for example, gambling taxes are significantly lower (mostly 25% of gross revenues). Therefore, nearly all of the experts surveyed believe that a Spanish license will pay off financially.

Martin Oelbermann, director of MECN and co-author of the study adds, “Many operators lost a significant amount of money in the liberalised French market – therefore, operators became more sceptical. They now analyse the financial effects of the tax rates and other key regulations (e.g., identification processes, ...) even more closely. But the Spanish model seems to convince them and brings back a lot of optimism to the industry”.

Size matters – online gambling gross revenues expected to grow to over Euro 680 million by 2015

The figures regarding the Spanish gambling market are impressive: total market size in 2010 of ca. Euro 28 billion in turnover/wagers and Euro 9.5 billion in gross revenues. The online gambling market (gross revenues) is estimated at Euro 465 million in 2010 and is expected to grow to over Euro 680 million by 2015 with betting and poker leading the way.
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