Affiliate marketing spend in Spain rose slightly by 1% in the first quarter of 2020, with the overall online gambling market reporting both yearly and quarterly growth.
Operators also allocated more resources to promoting themselves, with marketing spend in this respect going up by over a quarter compared to Q1 2019.
There was also an increase in the number of online players registering new accounts, though this was by no means substantial.
Sports betting remained popular, while online casino and poker revenue also both rose compared to the same period last year.
Marketing spend goes up
For the first quarter of 2020, affiliate marketing spend reached €10.3 million. As far as total marketing spend is concerned, regulated operators spent €118.2 million between them.
€59.9 million was put into advertising, with sponsorship spending going up by 23% and reaching €6 million.
The amount spent on bonus offers also rose, with its €42.4 million figure representing a 46% increase.
868,000 players in the country opened a new account with licensed operators, which was 5.6% more than in Q1 2019. Overall active accounts stood at 911,000.
Sports betting is still king
A large number of players in Spain continued to wager on sports, with operators in this vertical generating €110.6 million between them. This was 8.6% higher than in Q1 2019 and almost a quarter more than had been the case in the final quarter of last year.
Online casino games were also popular. Revenue in this vertical reached €77.6 million, which was an 8.3% year-on-year increase.
Figures might change depending on external factors
It’s possible that Q2 2020 will paint a different picture for Spain’s online gambling market, due to the impact of COVID-19 and lack of sporting activity in said period. On top of that, restrictions were imposed to protect players from possible gambling-related harm.
With that being said, La Liga is now back – as are other sporting events throughout Europe. Therefore, things might look rosier in Q3.
The future of marketing spend in Spain will rely heavily on whether or not proposed restrictions are implemented. The likes of sponsorships for sports teams would be banned, with gambling advertising also heavily restricted. These measures have been met with criticism from the European Betting and Gaming Association (EBGA).
Another critic of the Spanish government’s strict proposals is Jdigital, an association for online operators in the country. The organisation referred to the drafted regulations as “worrisome”, while also pointing out how it was unfair for state lotteries to be exempt from all laws. Jdigital said it hopes that the European Commission will address the “discrimination and harassment of private gaming”.
Cjuego has also expressed its disapproval of the Spanish government’s intentions to restrict gambling advertising, questioning why it was one rule for private operators and another for state-run lotteries.