Online Entertainment Industry
In recent years, the way we entertain ourselves has changed radically. The emergence of the Internet and its increasing popularity has made it our main source of entertainment.
Platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime provide us with thousands of movies and TV series, while services like Steam or the new Apple Arcade include video games for all tastes. Online casinos and roulette are also very popular.
The reasons that explain this success of online leisure are several. Logically, it has been possible thanks to improvements in technology, but no less important is the change of chip that society has made.
Now, we prioritize immediacy and the possibility of consuming entertainment when and where we want. It also helps that these online platforms are inexpensive, or even free.
In fact, this last factor is extremely important, especially if we take into account the socio-economic context that Spain has suffered over the last decade.
The harsh consequences of the financial crisis are well known, with thousands of people losing their jobs and/or their homes. The cost of living has risen, while salaries have not increased at the same pace.
Inevitably, the Spanish budget for leisure activities has narrowed, and that has benefited online entertainment.
The growth of online entertainment in Spain
In addition to the film industry, the gaming sector has benefited the most from this popularization of Internet entertainment. One of the reasons for this is the welcome received by the State, which has reduced the tax on online gambling.
This more favourable environment has made online operators grow and many already foresee that many English betting companies will move to Spanish soil after Brexit.
Figures collected by the General Directorate of the Ordination of the Game confirm this growth of the sector. Specifically, the Spanish as a whole spent a total of 178.35 million euros on online gaming during the second quarter of 2019, which is 6.69% more than in the same months of 2018. On the other hand, it is considered that there are 1.5 million online players in Spain.
What explains the growth of online entertainment?
If we now analyze the reasons that explain the boom that is experiencing the online leisure sector in recent years, there is no doubt that the support of the Spanish government has played a very prominent role.
But no matter how welcome online casinos and bookmakers may be, they would not be as successful among the Spanish population if they did not offer a unique and different experience compared to the physical establishments of a lifetime.
First of all, having the possibility to play from home, sitting on the sofa and at any time of the day is an advantage that gamblers don’t miss.
In addition, online platforms tend to have attractive graphics that will make the experience much more entertaining, and also have a much wider range of games than traditional casinos, somewhat more limited. You can also benefit from the bonuses and get money to bet for free.
The specific case of betting
One of the most popular segments of the gaming sector in Spain is betting. Specifically, it accounted for 48.47% of the total net gambling margin in the second quarter of 2019, corresponding to 86.45 million euros.
There are other reports that dare to predict an incredible increase in the money moved by betting operators. Specifically, they believe it will rise to 1.8 billion euros in 2024, 166% more than in 2017.
Spaniards have always liked to bet – for some reason card games like poker have a long history in Spain. Nor is it surprising that in a country like Spain, where football is the national sport, sports betting is so successful.
Recently, interest in betting on basketball or tennis games has also grown, although it is betting on equestrian sports that is experiencing the greatest growth.
The importance of online entertainment for the Spanish economy
Spain has left behind the financial instability that began in 2008. The debt that dragged the country into one of the worst crises in its history has been declining little by little for years and the risk premium has reached stability.
The International Monetary Fund has calculated a growth of 2.2% at the end of this year, and the unemployment rate is also decreasing. However, there is still a long way to go before our country will once again enjoy the economic boom it enjoyed before the crisis, so it cannot miss the opportunity offered by the online sector.
On the one hand, there is no doubt that the growth of one industry, whatever it is, brings with it an increase in jobs, which benefits everyone. In addition, the movement of money also translates into a higher amount of taxes collected by the state, which can be invested in improving public services. All this justifies why the government needs to support a sector with so much potential.
The future can only be hopeful. Expert forecasts indicate that the total number of online operators offering their services in Spain could grow. This will turn the sector into a more competitive market, and will bring an improved user experience and pages that offer greater security.
The good health of the online entertainment industry will benefit everyone, especially state coffers that need to be replenished.