Spanish Online Poker Revenue Jumps 27% in Q1June 3, 2018 4:58 pm
In January, Spain and France started pooling their online poker players in an attempt to revive an industry decimated by the ring-fenced policies adopted by their respective governments.
If they were ever in any doubt as to the validity of their move, the results for the first three months of 2018 will certainly have allayed their concerns with revenue spiking by a whopping 27% year-on-year to €21 million ($24.5m).
Online Poker Market Soars
France released its Q1 online poker result recently, with the country showing an impressive 8% increase in revenue versus the same period a year earlier. That number, however, pales in comparison to the gains noted in Spain, after online cash games jumped by 30% to €8.4 million ($9.8m), and tournaments rocketed by 50.2% to €13 million ($15.2m).
To put things into perspective, before the shared online poker liquidity was enacted at the start of 2018, Spain’s online poker revenue increased by a mere 5% in Q4 of 2017. Portugal also joined the shared liquidity pact last month, indicating more positive developments ahead going into Q2. Furthermore, the latest poker figures will certainly have attracted the attention of Italy and may even provide sufficient incentive for the country to speed up its commitment to enter into the agreement by the year’s end.
More Competition Ahead
In January, PokerStars became the first operator to share its Spanish and French poker players, and in May the operator also pioneered similar developments in Portugal. PokerStars’ EU network has since grown into the third-biggest in the world, and according to PokerScout the site currently has 56,296 players online, and a seven day average of 1,600 cash game players.
While PokerStars has enjoyed its early advantage in the new shared landscape, it will soon face fresh competition as other leading operators also begin to enter the space. Winimax, for instance, is expected to share online poker players between France and Spain later this year, although it still remains to be seen whether Portugal will issue an iPoker license to any other company than just PokerStars. In addition, PartyPoker is schedule to join the shared liquidity bandwagon starting next week.
PartyPoker is expected to connect its French and Spanish sites on Monday, June 4th, and has already snapped up France’s number one tournament player Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier to help promote the brand across shared European borders. As the pro stated at the time:
“Our goal is to provide players and fans with an experience they deserve worldwide. PartyPoker will be aiming to bring their ambition, expertise and successful model to the .eu market with some big announcements coming soon.”
Details of these “big announcements” have since been revealed, and include an impressive guarantee prize pool of €1 million for its MTTs each week, and €600K for its Progressive Knockout MTTs, with no rake charged on the bounties of these PKO tournaments. PartyPoker will also be offering a range of 6-max tournaments across its updated MTT schedule, with ‘Predator’, ‘Shield’, ‘Monster’ and ‘Bazooka’ amongst the variants being featured on its new roster.
Spanish iGaming Up 27%
Including poker, Spain’s overall online gambling market posted a 27% year-over-year increase to €163.3 ($190.5m) in Q1, according to the latest result released by the Spanish regulator DGOJ.
Accounting for almost half of all revenue was sports betting, which generated €81.7 million ($95.3m) in the first quarter, marking a 15.9% increase versus the same quarter in 2017. Also strongly contributing to the impressive numbers was the online casino segment, whose revenue soared by 51% to €56.6 million ($66m), roughly half of which was accounted for by slot games.
As mentioned, online poker revenues reported a 27% increase to €21.5 million in the first three months of the year, while online bingo also saw its revenue post double-digit gains after jumping by 30% year-on-year to €3.5 million.