IT’S BEEN well known for many decades that whatever the economic fortunes of the country – and they’ve had their fair share of ups and downs in recent years – the Spanish people always find a few euro to have their weekly bet on the wide variety of local and national lotteries. The queues outside the myriad of lottery offices up and down the country regularly confirm that fact.
As the dominance of technology has reached into the world of gambling in the past decade, figures released by the Ministry of Finance for the Valencian Community for 2016 show a 5.8% increase in betting machines and a total figure of €292m which in itself is 22% up on the previous year.
The significance of that amount is it’s the first time, since the regulation of the market was introduced by the autonomous government in 2011, that this mode of gambling has outstripped the more traditional methods.
The Spanish National Blind Organisation (ONCE) tickets account for €225m of gambling revenue with casinos recording €218m. Traditional bingo halls in the community take in €270.3m but if you add the estimated €75m taken via the electronic methods, bingo would come out top of the list. The success of the bingo halls is due in no small part to the increase in the number of younger people that have been attracted to visit such establishments that they now use as regular meeting points. Bingo in Spain isn’t just for ‘old ladies’ with their proud wings!
There is also another significant area within the gambling business that is showing strong growth – online gaming. At the national level – there is no local data available – it has reached a staggering amount of almost €11bn which is a sharp increase of 27% compared to 2015, and the upward trend seems unstoppable.