The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted several industries across the world, with localized lockdowns forcing businesses to halt their operations.
However, a number of poker operators decided to migrate their land based poker tournaments to an online platform and as a result, online poker activity registered a massive spike during the COVID-19 lockdown phase.
Online poker sites operating in the Spanish market reported record figures in Q2, when COVID-19 restrictions were being implemented throughout the country. The latest report from Spain’s Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling shows online poker activity was up 48% at the end of Q1 (March), and this growth continued through to Q2.
In fact, in April and May, online poker revenue in the country increased by 170% and 101% respectively, as Spain shifted to online entertainment while being in lockdown mode. While iPoker activity dropped in June after restrictions were eased, online poker traffic still enjoyed a 21% year-in-year increase.
As a result, Spain’s online poker revenue for the entire Q2 climbed to €38.2 million ($44.3 million), with tournaments accounting for €25.6 million ($29.6 million) of that figure, while cash games contributed €12.6 million ($14.6 million).
Spain Could Have Another iPoker Spike
The online poker industry has flourished across Europe since the COVID-19 lockdowns, with France, the UK, and EU nations also reporting record increases in revenue. The figures have since declined post-pandemic. However, in Spain, there is a strong chance that iPoker numbers will spike again after the government recently declared another state of emergency.
The country has imposed lockdowns in areas reporting a new wave of COVID-19 infections, and this is expected to once again benefit the Spanish online poker industry. Online poker operators have struggled for years in Spain due to the sluggish market. However, ever since the shared liquidity agreement with France and Portugal, the online poker market in Spain has continued to improve.