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Gambling Regulation Brings Cash to Struggling Iberian Nation

Revenues pour into the Spanish budget as legalized online gambling attracts players and money.

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The government expects a bountiful harvest of EUR 140 million (USD 182 million), made in just six months since online gambling has been placed under legally regulated conditions. This is the assessment of the country’s gaming regulator DGoJ, who has also published some data on player activity and industry revenues.

It turns out that over 1 million players have enjoyed their newly found online freedoms since June 2012 – a five-fold increase – staking EUR 2.3 billion (USD 3 billion) in the process. The now legal activity yielded EUR 88 million (USD 115 million) to the holders of the 53 licenses issued.

Although internet gambling in Spain makes up only 17% of the Iberian nation’s gambling market, the share is expected to grow further. This growth will be fueled among other things by the planned launch of online slots this year.

Based on the regulator’s data the typical Spanish player is a university educated, young to middle aged male. While online gambling is still equated with lottery tickets for most locals, over half of those who gamble online opt to bet on sports in Spain, and a third of the players going for poker.

Likewise, the highest revenue – largely proportionate to the number of players – was generated by sports betting, with Spanish poker rooms not trailing far behind (EUR 43.5 and EUR 30.2, respectively). The greater than planned government revenues will undoubtedly have their place in the country’s embattled budget.

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