Apr 29, 2021
Companies in the gaming sector that until now have only operated in the in-person channel will use the coronavirus pandemic to explore how to diversify their businesses to incorporate an online offer. This was the conclusion of gaming industry experts in Spain who took part in the SBC Summit, the annual meeting place for the international gaming and betting sector, which itself took place online.
Santiago Asensi, founding partner of Asensi Abogados was joined by the president of Jdigital, Mikel López de Torre, the general director of Kirolbet, Eñaut Ruiz Luisa; and the CEO of Retabet, Xabier Rodríguez Maribona for a round-table discussion on the impact of the pandemic on the retail gaming and betting sector.
All the participants in the round table emphasized the effects that the pandemic has had on retail which has seen its operations paralyzed by the closure of all commercial premises (game rooms, bingo halls, casinos, betting houses, etc.) and hotels since the declaration of the state of alarm in March. The experts also commented on the drastic drop in activity caused by the suspension of practically all sports competitions worldwide. This has reduced the offer of sports betting – the main gambling product in Spain – by 96%.
Around 40% of regular consumers bet in person and online meaning the drop in retail activity was not matched by an uptick in online.
“After the shutdown the number of active players and income has fallen between 50% and 80% in online gambling,” López de Torre said. “Despite the increase in online poker and stability in the online casino, gambling operators traffic plummeted 60%,” he added.
Other experts believe that the market has matured in recent years with fierce competition combined with a growing tax burden to restrict the development of the gambling and betting business in the country.
Santiago Asensi was moderating an expert round table at the SBC Summit.