Just like the weather, gambling in Spain is a hot topic. As Europe sees remarkable gambling performances since the US ban prohibiting sites from operating financially, Spain stands out as having seen the most growth over the past year and particularly in recent months.
A report by a leading online internet statistic organisation shows Spain as having growth of 154% from 2005 to 2006. Only Sweden, Switzerland and Italy come anywhere near this kind of growth, with approximately 60% for each of those regions.
While gambling and sweepstake sites are more popular in countries like France, Sweden and Germany, the Spanish love to gamble on poker, casino and bingo sites, almost triple the amount of people visit these types of sites as opposed to online betting.
Spain is also doing well in terms of the number of sites advertising online, coming fourth in the European table for the number of banners, campaigns and adverts placed online.
So what is enticing the Spanish player to gamble? Well of course entry into an online casino is much more convenient than a typical bricks and mortar land based casino. These casinos are typically frequented by people who like to stay out late, perhaps after a night out on the town, and by those who like an element of exclusivity in such clubs and casinos.
The availability of online casino and poker sites allows people of all types and backgrounds to play online without the risk of a late night and without risk of losing face as they try their hand at poker, blackjack and roulette.
Online poker sites also allow you to play poker without spending any money. Typically at a normal casino you have to pay to play, but most online sites offer some form of game preview and interactive learning process, as well as the opportunity to play without spending money. This entices players to learn the game, again without financial risk. Perhaps online casinos should take note of this kind of free play, and offer land based players the opportunity to learn the game without financial risk.
One more important aspect of online gaming is the element of social networking. While casino and poker players were previously thought to be of a certain breed of character, online gaming is open to all types, and this allows people to interact and meet friends online and potentially get to know the competition.
Spain has a massive internet audience, of which only 14% are currently being reached by online gambling sites. This provides a potential for 86% more reach and along with it a huge pile of cash to be made by those internet poker sites. Money is also there to be made by the poker player. Poker is a game where you need a large element of skill, so winning is really down to the player and not purely down to random generation of numbers or a bit of luck. Of course you need the cards to fall your way, but you can maximise your winning potential by learning poker strategies, and when and how much to bet in any given game.
Spain has also had many poker champions in the past and continues to be an important stop over on the European Poker Tour.
Interesting also is the times that players play online. Peak times for most European poker sites would normally be after office hours, up until around midnight. However, this is not the case in Spain. According to Juega Poker Ya.com, peak times for poker and casino gambling in the summer months particularly, is from 3am in the morning. This is due to the fact that the Spanish eat late, visit clubs and bars until late and return home in the cool of the evening to play poker online.
Thus proving once again that not only is the weather a hot topic in Spain. Poker and casino gambling is also turning on the heat and becoming an important element of life in Spain.