Spanish Online Poker Up 17% To €17.4m In Q4

Spanish Online Poker Up 17% To €17.4m In Q4Spanish gaming regulator DGOJ has released its gaming results for Q4 2012, revealing a 41% jump in gross gaming revenue (GGR) to €61.4 million, compared to Q3’s tally. Accounting for 48.4% of Spain’s GGR was sports betting, which was up 66% to €30 million compared to the previous quarter.
Online poker, too, performed well with Q4’s results showing a 17% increase in revenue to €17.4 million and now accounting for roughly a third of the GGR in the market. From the total, cash games currently represent 15.6% of GGR and tournament poker 8.8%.
Nevertheless, despite the figures, growth in the Spanish gaming market has almost ground to a halt and even saw a fall in the average number of active players for the final three months of 2012. All indications would suggest that the woeful economic situation in Spain with its 30% unemployment rate has badly affected Spain’s gaming sector, as well as the country’s economy as a whole.
Gaming industry experts have also suggested that without changes to Spain’s current restrictive tax rate of 25% of GGR, the situation is unlikely to improve any time soon. Spanish bureaucracy has also come under fire from gaming operators, with Victor Chandler Jr. recently stating that “it’s almost impossibly to fire anyone, which means businesses are too scared to hire.”
In addition to ensuring gaming operators’ strict compliance with the Gambling Tax, Spanish tax authorities have also been ardent in their pursuance of income tax and value added tax from online players. However, continuing his attack on the Spanish government, the head of the Gibraltar-licensed  Victor Chandler further noted that in various areas the police haven’t been paid for more than six months and that “If there’s a message here, we believe it’s ‘go ahead and cheat on your online gambling taxes, Spanish punters, because there’s nobody left to arrest you.”

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