European Online Gaming News for Summer 2017
Spanish online gaming up 22.6%
Spain is starting to become more and more fruitful when it comes to online gaming. The European country’s gaming regulator DGOJ announced that the online gambling sector in Spain experienced a 22.6% growth for the second quarter of 2017, online gaming sites generating €121.3 million in revenue for the three months to June 30.
Besides online gaming, Spain also boasts a 12.3% revenue growth in the sports betting sector compared to the same period last year.
The gaming industry in Spain is notably thriving, seeing that casino revenue alone grew by 52.5% to €42.9 million compared to last year. Slots and roulette seem to be extremely popular in the European country, the revenue generated from slots games growing by 84% year-on-year.
It looks like it’s an interesting time to start an online gaming business in Spain. The large population is a factor which determines the increase in internet gaming activity, and since the industry is rapidly growing, operators who want to open an online casino can contact the DGOJ for obtaining an online casino license for operating in Spain.
Portuguese online gaming drops 18% in second quarter
Portugal has seen a surprising decrease in online gaming revenue during the second quarter of 2017. The gaming authority in the country, SRIL, declared that the total online gaming revenue was down 18% for the last three months, ahead of the first European shared liquidity agreement.
Like so, overall revenue for the online casino industry in Portugal was €11.4m, compared to €13.9m for the same period of last year. Slot games generated the largest part of the revenue, accounting for 38% of all online casino earnings, while poker and roulette followed with 32% and 20% of all gaming revenue.
Sports betting revenue has also decreased during the second quarter, with a 20% drop compared to the first quarter of 2017.
Portugal has recently introduced online poker in the country, by approving its first official poker license. Even so, since last November, when the weekly average was 2,000 players, Portuguese poker decreased drastically.
Portugal, France, Italy and Spain have all welcomed online poker during the last few years, and an international gaming pool would be created by the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018. The international gaming pool would merge the four markets and create a communal liquidity agreement, which would supposedly imply that gaming revenue will rise for each of the four markets.
Malta expected to embrace legal bitcoin gaming
Malta, home for over 200 iGaming companies which design and develop some of the most famous casinos, is expected to fully legalize bitcoin gaming at online casinos soon. Besides bitcoin, online casinos in Malta will also be allowed to use other cryptocurrencies.
Joseph Cuschieri, executive chairman of Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), explained that Malta is ready to embrace cryptocurrency online gaming, due to the fact that Malta must remain at the forefront of innovation, by keeping up with new developments in technology. Like so, the MGA is expected to allow the use of bitcoin by its licensees in the immediate future.
Malta is also looking to introduce blockchain technology in several areas, including the healthcare system and land registry. Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta, stated that the country must be on the frontline in embracing this innovation, without waiting for others to take action and copy them.
Bitcoin gaming in Malta is expected to even boost the economy and attract more business to the island, including attracting startups to the project. Countries like the UK or Curacao have already introduced a proper legislation in favor of cryptocurrency gambling.
Slovakia starts to blacklist online gaming sites
After amending its gambling regulations in 2016, Slovakia is now starting to develop a blacklist which contains several gaming giants’ names. Seventeen online gaming operators, which already run their online casinos in Slovakia, have been presented with warning notices to terminate their operations. Two of these companies have already withdrawn their services from Slovakia, while five of them have been given 10 days to withdraw from the market.
None of these operators run their online gaming websites with a gaming license issued by Slovakia’s gaming authority. The ministry claimed that it is looking to officially block the blacklisted domains in the shortest amount of time, including seeking court orders to implement specific domain blocks in the following weeks.
Sports betting operators who are willing to run their businesses in Slovakia must comply with the country’s newly amended regulations and pay 27% tax on gross gaming revenue.
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