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Spanish online market maintains double-digit growth rate in 2018, but may be reaching saturation

Spanish-licensed online operators achieved a combined GGR of €699m in 2018, a 25.48% increase compared to the previous year, according to figures released by the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ).

The verticals casino (38.91%), poker (37.05%), betting (18.11%), and bingo (17.40%) all saw significant growth.

However, the number of active players increased only 5.24% year-on-year to 1,465,129, while total marketing expenditures soared to €328m, up from €222m in 2017 – a 48% increase.

These figures show that the Spanish online gambling market is quickly reaching maturity, after first being regulated in 2013.

Attracting new players is becoming increasingly costly for operators. The dramatic rise in marketing expenditures in 2018 is obviously not sustainable in the long run.

Equally obviously, the rapid growth in demand of the last few years cannot be expected to continue indefinitely. A market shakeout in the short to medium term appears likely.

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