November 30, 2019 3 min read

Spain’s Gambling Sector Grows to $8.48bn in 2018

Spain’s online gambling industry has grown at a significant pace, marking around 270% growth in the five years since 2014, the country’s gaming regulator confirmed.

Spain’s Online Gambling Sector Expands Rapidly

Spain’s gambling sector continues to grow with the total hitting estimated $8.48 billion in 2018 in terms of gross gaming revenue (GGR), new figures by the country’s regulator revealed. The Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) has been posting positive results in Spain for the past nine years, with the sector undergoing record expansion.

Estimated $894.67 million of this amount was contributed by online gambling operations, the regulator specified. Lotteries again topped the charts, generating $4.64 billion of the total revenue, and marking a close to 1% increase year-over-year.

The results were driven by the two lottery operators in the country, and specifically the Sociedad Estatal Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (SELAE) and Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles (ONCE) accounting for $3.46 billion and $1.13 billion of the total revenue.

Meanwhile, physical venues including casinos drove decent results, generating close to $2.28 billion, although this figure didn’t include gaming machines. Some $1.13 billion were accumulated through traditional gaming products.

Bingo came second with $654.37 million and third was betting with $502.21 million. Even more impressive, online gambling amassed some 894.67 million, as reported by DGOJ. This amount was a 22.5% increase year-over-year and amounted to $19.63 billion. Meanwhile, gaming machines accounted for some $78.12 million.

All of this comes in the midst of planned changes to online gambling advertisement which will come into effect on January 15, 2020.

The Quick Growth of Casino Gambling in Spain

In the period of just five years, the average online gambling market in Spain has increased by 270%. While the total online casino gambling was merely $483.67 million in 2014 it hit $894.67 million in 2018, an impressive feat in the space of five years, especially given the regulatory climate, which is toughening.

Spain may attempt to control Gibraltar and all gambling companies located in the now British territory. However, a hard Brexit may lead to much tougher regime on the territory, and Spain has already shown interest in legally binding companies to bring their servers into the country.

A hard Brexit could also disrupt border movement, with some 60% of all gambling workers in Gibraltar residing in Spain instead. Meanwhile, Spain is also addressing other issues, such as the incidence of problem gambling among kids.

According to a study conducted by the Federation of Rehabilitated Gamblers and Madrid’s Association of Psychologists, one in five kids aged 14 – 21 gambled, quickly making Spain in the headline.

However, this number may be as worrying. The United Kingdom is currently trying to address multiple issues related to problem gambling among youngsters.

Loot boxes have been seen as one of the main culprits for underage gambling, even though the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has not classified these in-game mechanics as gambling.


Simon is a freelance writer who specializes in gambling news and has been an author in the poker/casino scene for 10+ years. He brings valuable knowledge to the team and a different perspective, especially as a casual casino player.

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