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Spanish Online Gambling Market Sees Strong Growth in Q1 2024

The Spanish online gambling market has shown robust growth in the first quarter of 2024, as reported by the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ). The Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for the quarter reached €350.69 million, marking an 11.23% increase quarter-over-quarter and a 15.14% increase year-over-year. This significant rise underscores the market’s resilience and recovery from previous fluctuations.

Growth Across Key Segments

spanish_online_gambling_report_q1_2024_ggr_up_15_1pctIn terms of player transactions, both deposits and withdrawals showed notable increases compared to the previous year, rising by 15.85% and 13.90%, respectively. Quarter-over-quarter, deposits grew by 5.61% while withdrawals saw a modest increase of 0.72%. Despite the overall growth, marketing expenditure saw a slight decrease of 1.0% quarter-over-quarter, while the number of new accounts surged by 15.21%.

The GGR is distributed across various gaming segments, with betting, casino, bingo, contests, and poker all contributing to the total. Betting accounted for €150.28 million (42.85% of the total GGR), followed by the casino segment with €167.76 million (47.84%). Bingo contributed €4.19 million (1.19%), contests €0.002 million (0.00%), and poker €28.45 million (8.11%).

Betting and Casino Drive Growth

The betting segment experienced a significant positive variation rate of 30.99% quarter-over-quarter and 15.37% year-over-year. This growth was largely driven by a remarkable 588.84% increase in pre-match betting, although in-play sports betting saw a decline of 31.69%. Other betting categories also grew by 1.57% this quarter, whereas horse betting decreased by 28.36%.

The casino segment, despite a slight quarter-over-quarter decline of 2.05%, showed a strong annual growth rate of 17.02%. Within the casino segment, slots increased by 14.98% year-over-year, and live roulette saw an impressive 22.19% growth. Quarter-over-quarter, Blackjack, conventional roulette, and live roulette grew by 7.32%, 9.69%, and 6.37%, respectively, while slots fell by 7.51%.

Other Segments Show Mixed Results

Bingo showed steady growth, with a 9.18% increase quarter-over-quarter and 24.93% year-over-year. Conversely, the contests segment continued its irregular performance, experiencing a dramatic fall of 96.79% quarter-over-quarter and 99.38% year-over-year.

Poker presented a positive outlook with an 11.98% quarter-over-quarter increase and a 3.99% year-over-year rise. Poker tournaments grew by 11.19% quarter-over-quarter and 2.04% year-over-year, while poker cash games increased by 13.91% compared to the previous quarter and 8.91% compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

Player Engagement and Market Dynamics

The average number of active game accounts per month reached 1,327,575, reflecting a 4.57% increase quarter-over-quarter and a 14.58% increase year-over-year. The average number of new game accounts per month stood at 148,862, with a growth of 15.21% quarter-over-quarter and 33.64% year-over-year.

For this quarter, there were 78 licensed operators in the market. The number of active operators by segment included 41 for betting, 4 for bingo, 50 for casino, 2 for contests, and 9 for poker.

Marketing Expenses

Marketing expenses for the last quarter totaled €112.79 million, broken down into €14.27 million for affiliation expenses, €1.07 million for sponsorship, €55.67 million for promotions, and €41.78 million for advertising. Compared to the previous quarter, marketing expenses declined by 1.00% but increased by 14.86% year-over-year. Specifically, sponsorship decreased by 12.55%, affiliates by 0.87%, advertising by 7.68%, while promotions increased by 4.93% quarter-over-quarter. Year-over-year, sponsorship fell by 27.23%, affiliates increased by 14.82%, advertising by 22.49%, and promotions by 10.92%.

Source: “1st Quarterly Report 2024”. Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling. June 4, 2024.

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Microgaming Updates Brand Looking to Return to Leading Market Position

Entering its third decade of operation, Microgaming, a pioneering platform software provider, announces a complete visual rebrand for its corporate websites. The move is expected to redefine the company’s identity and strengthen its transformative journey.

Comprehensive Website Update

The comprehensive update of the corporate online presentation, including the subsidized PlayItForward websites, represents a milestone in the 30-year company’s history. Microgaming is entering a new era of its operations and the transformation is designed to provide an effective marketing tool to ensure an appealing yet seamless transition.

Name and Logo Remains the Same

For such purpose, the visual language of the brand will continue to communicate with customers and partners in the same manner as before. The Microgaming name and logo will remain unchanged as the company sets out for a transformative journey to get back to the position of a leading platform software provider superiorly held in 1994.

Focus on People

Therefore the upgrade of the corporate web pages will provide the brand with a contemporary look and sophisticated design to communicate the company’s focus on its people. The visual transformation is a part of the new corporate strategy designed to refresh the brand and open a brand new chapter of its operations.

Addition of Game Aggregation Business

Microgaming will add weight to its operations by adding its new content aggregation business to the established corporate platform software and technology provisions. The addition is a result of the Games Global’s acquisition of Micogaming’s online gaming and content distribution operations in 2022.

Bridge Over Still Waters

microgaming_unveils_new_corporate_and_play_it_forward_websitesAs a pioneering platform and technology software provider, Microgaming has powered leading online gaming brands and currently distributes over 210 million bets on a daily basis. The latest overhaul is set to represent a bridge across still waters between the past and future pioneer’s accomplishments. It’s no wonder that such a transition has been facilitated by the board and the employees alike as the company has earned over 20 industry awards for the application of diversity and inclusion standards in the workplace.

Alex Wilson, Head of Marketing at Microgaming, commented:  “We’re incredibly excited to be able to announce the rebranding of the corporate and Play It Forward websites at Microgaming in a move that will not only breathe fresh visual life into our brand, but also redefine who we are as a business’’.

Wilson added: “Having been in the industry for 30 years, the repositioning of our value proposition will see Microgaming get back to its roots as an established corporate platform software and technology provider while simultaneously celebrating the people who’ve helped get us to where we are today. As such, it marks the start of what promises to be a transformative journey for the company as we enter a new chapter in our development and we can’t wait to share it with our iGaming peers.”

Source: Microgaming Unveils New Corporate and PlayItForward Websites’’. Microgaming. February 5, 2024.

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DraftKings, MGM, Hard Rock Mull Entering Brazil Online Betting Market

Last year, Brazil established regulatory guidelines for its online wagering market — a move that’s expected to lure some of the industry’s biggest players to Latin America’s largest economies.

The Brazilian flag flying against a backdrop of the sun
The Brazilian flag flying against a backdrop of the sun. DraftKings and MGM are among the US companies that could pursue online wagering licenses there. (Image: Pixabay)

It’s rumored that US-based betting behemoths DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG), MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), and Hard Rock International are examining avenues for entering the most populous country in the region.

The list of nearly 135 pre-registrants for Brazilian online wagering permits reads like a who’s who of the gaming industry and includes US-based firms such as Bally’s (NYSE: BALY), DraftKings, and MGM as well  as entities tied to European sportsbook giants Entain and Flutter Entertainment (NYSE: FLUT), among many more.

For domestic iGaming and sportsbook operators, the allure of Brazil is easy to understand. State-level legalization in the US is slowing with widespread belief that it could be years before California and Texas permit mobile sports betting. Conversely, Brazil has the framework in place and is home to more than 209 million people, making it the sixth-largest country in the world.

Brazil Could Increase Allure of Rush Street Interactive

Already rumored to be a takeover target, Rush Street Interactive (NYSE: RSI)could draw increased interest from potential suitors as Brazil liberalizes its online wagering market.

The reasoning is simple. It’s widely believed Brazilian regulators will be partial home-grown companies and those with established footprints in Latin America when awarding licenses. With sports betting operations in Colombia and Mexico, Rush Street Interactive is the only US-based gaming company that checks the latter box.

There has also been talk the operator could eventually enter Argentina and Peru. Should RSI prove successful in procuring a Brazilian license, it could make the firm an attractive target for another US-based operator that sees opportunity in Latin America.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that RSI approached multiple prospective buyers, including DraftKings, but the company has yet to publicly confirm such talks.

Brazil Could Be Next Great Sports Wagering Frontier

Alone, Brazil’s status as the region’s largest economy and most populous nation make it alluring for gaming companies, but there’s more to the story.

The country doesn’t have Las Vegas-style, land-based casinos and there’s little indication that policy will change anytime soon, indicating iGaming could be a hit among Brazilian bettors that want access to table games.

On the sports wagering front, Brazil is famously one of the most soccer-rabid countries in the world. It has five World Cup titles, is the only country to compete in all 21 editions of the tournament, and holds several other records, including games played, matches won, and goals scored.

Still, the NFL is increasingly popular there and Sao Paulo will host the league’s first game in South America in 2024. The NBA is also popular among residents in what is the world’s tenth-largest economy.

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Thunderkick Secures Partnership with Paf on Spanish Market

thunderkick_strengthens_presence_in_spain_with_paf_partnershipThunderkick, the innovative Swedish company that creates games for online casinos, has announced that its presence on the Spanish market has become stronger after having signed an agreement with Paf, one of the top online casino operators in Europe.

The agreement will see Paf gain access to the impressive portfolio of games supplied by Thunderkick, including very popular titles such as Midas Golden Touch, Hot Potato and Esqueleto Explosivo 2. The deal will also see Thunderkick solidify its position on the Spanish market, one of the key regulated markets in the European Union.

A Top Operator

Moreover, an agreement with Paf can be regarded as a seal of approval because this online casino operator is one of the oldest in the business. The company was founded all the way back in 1966 in the Aland Islands, which is an autonomous region of Finland.

The company was founded by the local health charity Folkhälsan together with the local branches of famous international foundations such as the Red Cross, Save the Children and Dagens Barn. The operator is licensed and controlled by the Government of Aland, so its main purpose is to generate money which then will be redistributed towards social expenses.

Along with being an online casino operator, Paf also has its own in-house games studio which creates unique content for the company’s website. Moreover, Paf also operates 31 cruise ships which navigate the Baltic and the North Seas. The operator is licensed in Aland, Estonia, Latvia, Sweden, and Spain.

An Increasingly Popular Supplier

Thunderkick does have a bit of history behind its brand as well; the company was founded in 2012 and since then it has grown into one of the most reputable names in the iGaming industry. The deal with Paf means that its footprint continues to grow across the world because it comes after multiple other agreements secured with top operators.

Among the studio’s online casino partners we can find big names such as 888casino, Mr. Green, Casumo, and LeoVegas along with powerful aggregators such as Pariplay and QTech Games. The company currently has over 80 employees and 77 different games in its portfolio.

Source: “Spanish Fiesta with Paf!“. Thunderkick. March 25, 2024.

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Hacksaw Gaming Broadens Italian Market Reach with Betflag Content Deal!

In the realm of Italian gaming, a seismic shift is underway as two industry juggernauts, Hacksaw Gaming and BetFlag, join forces to redefine the very essence of online entertainment.

BetFlag, The Champion of Italian Gaming

hacksaw_gaming_and_betflag_salute_brand_new_partnership_in_italy_At the helm of this epic alliance stands BetFlag, a true champion in the Italian gaming sphere. Backed by the esteemed Lottomatica Group, BetFlag’s influence reverberates across the nation, setting standards and shaping trends with each spin of the virtual reels.

Enter Hacksaw, the maestros of innovation and architects of immersive experiences. With a knack for weaving dreams into digital realities, the brand brings a fresh perspective and unparalleled creativity to the gaming landscape.

Together, Hacksaw Gaming and BetFlag produce a symphony of possibilities, where every spin, every win, is a note in a splendid composition of excitement and anticipation. From classic favorites to groundbreaking new releases, players are invited to immerse themselves in a world where imagination knows no bounds.

This collaboration is about raising the bar and exceeding expectations. Through cutting-edge technology, tempting storytelling, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, the two aim to deliver a remarkable gaming experience.

The Journey Begins

As players embark on this thrilling journey, they can expect to be transported to realms of adventure, mystery, and endless possibilities. The fusion of Hacksaw’s ingenuity and BetFlag’s legacy promises an experience that transcends mere gameplay.

In the ever-evolving stage of Italian gaming, the duo serves as beacons of innovation and progress. Together, they herald a new dawn—a golden age of gaming where imagination reigns supreme and players are the ultimate beneficiaries of this groundbreaking collaboration.

The fusion of the two brands isn’t just a partnership; it’s proof of the transformative power of collaboration. As they embark on this exciting journey together, the stage is set for a new era in Italian gaming filled with excitement, adventure, and endless possibilities.

Marcus Cordes, CEO of Hacksaw Gaming, shared: “This collaboration stands on a number of shared incentives. With BetFlag, we can expect spectacular growth, while the players can enjoy a variety of Hacksaw content.”

Laviero Saganeiti, Casino Project Manager at BetFlag added: “These games express the dynamism and engagement we have not seen in the market for some time. Moreover, the young team is always available and ready to receive feedback for the development of new products. It’s going to be a banger!”

Source: ”Hacksaw Gaming and BetFlag Salute Brand New Partnership in Italy”. European Gaming. March 21, 2024.

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