Since 2014, land-based slots located in shopping centers, casinos, and bars have been showing an increase in their number by almost 50%. The same trend applies to the online segment.
According to the statistical data on gambling turnover in the Spanish land-based slots sector for 2017, it amounted to €25.4 billion having grown by 5.7% compared to a year earlier. In 2015 and 2016, the growth was 4.5% and 3.1% accordingly.
Despite slot machines’ low-payout percentage, they are the first to generate the land-based gambling turnover. The slot sector’s volume was about 42% of the 2017 turnover that amounted to €10.7 billion. According to incomplete statistics (only 7 out of 19 Spanish communities were taken into account), low-payout B type slots’ visible gains increased up to 10.5%, which is 2 times more compared to 2015 and 2016 (4.5% growth for both years). C type gaming machines located in 54 casinos across the country generated €789 million.
Having recovered from a significant decline lasting from 2008 to 2014, land-based slots industry has been trying to return its pre-crisis turnover level. Before the market’s drop in 2008, it had €14.5 billion and reached the bottom in 2014 with €8.9 billion. Since then, the industry was demonstrating the growth of around 20% for the next 3 years. C category slots’ downturn was not that big, which enabled the sector to exceed its net revenues of 2007. Furthermore, 15 new casinos with these gaming machines were opened in the period between 2012 and 2017.
Both sectors’ recovery has resulted in the growth of their combined turnover from €9.4 billion in 2014 to €11.4 billion in 2017. This occurred against the background of online slots regulation’s adoption in June 2015 (the Spanish online gambling market has opened in 2012). Considering online casino revenue (€2.35 billion for 2017), as well as the slots’ combined one, their total increase for the period from 2014 to 2017 amounted to 46.2%.
Instead of having an adverse effect on land-based slots sector, online slots launching resulted in the whole industry growth. Another reason for that was Spain’s GDP growth – the country demonstrated the biggest economic growth among major European economies.
With online slots introduction, Spanish gambling operators such as Luckia, Rank Espana, and R. Franko have got more opportunities to increase their revenues, as well as customer base. Therefore, online and offline slots, which have different player demographics and payout rates, started to complement each other instead of competing.
Gamblers like online slots because of the higher RTP rate compared to land-based slot machines. The first ones’ 96% RTP is bigger than the C and B casino slots’ average rates (80% and 74% accordingly). However, online slots’ high-volume/low-margin nature predetermines a lower turnover (only 17%) and revenue (2.9% after paying all winnings to the customers). The classic arcade’s payout rates are significantly lower, which turned into 91.9% of the revenue and 77.3% of the turnover.
The online slots sector statistics (for 2015) showed that the majority of players (69.6%) were people between 18 and 35 – they generated 37.9% of online casino turnover. This also meant that 6.9% of Spanish adults of this age tried online casinos in 2015. With regard to older players, only 1.2% of people over the age of 35 played slots online.
Different tax rates for online and offline sectors influenced their development but did not halt the increase of both of them. The digital sector was growing every year not only up to 2017 but is still continuing, so further growth of online slots turnover and revenue is inevitable.
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