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Spain – Online poker grows for the first time since regulation in Spain

By - 19 February 2019

After five years of decline, GGR for online poker has risen and grown for the first time reporting double digit growth since the regulation of online gaming in Spain.

As predicted by Jdigital – The Spanish trade association of digital gaming – shared liquidity with France, Italy and Portugal, has meant that the sector has seen positive results. Online poker grew by 37 per cent in 2018 reaching almost €82m according to data published by the Spain’s regulatory body the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ)

Jdigital applauded the positive impact of new regulatory changes while its President, Mikel López de Torre, explained that “these figures show the good work that is being done on regulatory issues in the field of online gaming in Spain, offering users an attractive and safe market at the same time. ”

Shared liquidity will continue to provide a major boost to the poker sector after the DGOJ reported that online poker generated revenues of just €60m during 2015 – a 40 per cent decrease compared to 2012 when online gaming was first regulated.

These figures were highlighted in May 2016 by founder of Jdigital Sacha Michaud in a statement. “If we go back to 2011, just before the sector was regulated, we see that online poker was one of the segments with the greatest potential with a progressive growth from 2007 to 2011, rising from €40m to overcoming the €100m barrier. However, hasty regulation without taking into account certain repercussions changed the es. platform and Spain into an unattractive destination for players.” Sacha Michaud explained that the lack of international liquidity had “changed poker into something a lot less fun and engaging both for amateurs who play for fun and for professionals.”

However, in July 2017 Spain agreed shared liquidity with France, Italy and Portugal meaning that licensed operators in Spain began to merge cash game pools from the three countries soon afterwards. Since then poker has been on the rise. According to the latest statistics released by the DGOJ in its 4th quarterly report on the development of the online gambling market (October-December 2018) poker filed an increase of 6.40 per cent over the previous quarter and an increase of 36.54 per cent year on year. The increase is mainly due to cash poker, which recorded a growth in the quarter of 8.95 per cent.

Caption: Mikel López de Torre

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