According to data from regulator the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), gross gaming revenue was down by 14.8% to €204.4m. However this marked a 16.3% quarter-on-quarter increase.
Revenue fell despite an increase in stakes, which grew 5.3% year-on-year to €7.41bn, a new record high. Deposits, meanwhile, grew by 4.3% year-on-year – or 7.1% quarter-on quarter – to €769.8m.
A similar trend emerged in 2021, when revenue was down despite a significant increase in stakes.
Breaking down revenue by vertical, sports betting revenue continued to be low at €65.2m, a 40.9% fall from Q1 2021, but up 49.1% from Q4 of that year.
Sports betting stakes remained high at €3.06bn, up 10.6% year-on-year, as it had done in H2 2021. This suggests a sports betting margin of just 2.1%. Margins were low across all sports, but lowest in horse racing at 1.4%.
House-banked casino gaming, on the other hand, performed well, with revenue of €111.0m, an 11.5% year-on-year increase. Of this total, €64.9m came from slots, up 1.2%, and €34.3m from roulette, down 5.2%. Stakes for the vertical were up 4.7% to €3.72bn.
Poker brought in an additional €20.5m, down 2.0% from 2021, while bingo revenue came to €3.6m.
Data from DGOJ also showed the impact of the country’s wide-ranging marketing restrictions. Marketing expenditure fell 27.7% compared to last year at €107.9m.
Facing fewer restrictions, affiliate marketing benefitted, with spend jumping 84.0% to €22.7m. Sponsorship spend dropped from €9.4m to just €632,784, after it was effectively banned, while traditional ad spend was slashed to €34.4m.
Free bets became the largest form of marketing, though operator investment was down 10.5% at €50.7m.