The Spanish online poker industry has been attracting a huge volume of traffic, ever since the Spanish government regulated online poker four months ago. The role of PokerStars in boosting the Spanish market is not only significant, but also commendable. PokerScout, the poker traffic tracker, announced that PokerStars attracts two-thirds of the Spanish poker players to its online ring games.
Last May, the Spanish Gambling Act was implemented, as a result of which unlicensed online gaming companies cannot cater to Spanish players. In June, the Spanish regulatory bodies created a proper regulatory framework for online poker operators to comply with. According to the new poker law in Spain, online poker rooms are required to operate via a .es website and offer separate prizes and games for Spanish players. Operators are also required to pay a tax of 25% of their total gambling revenue.
Grabbing a share of the Spanish online poker market has not been that easy for operators, especially considering the fact that cash gaming revenue plummeted after first reaching a peak when they first launched online poker services in Spain. PokerStars.es lost 15% of its online poker traffic. However, the online poker business picked up during the past three months, and player traffic to .es online poker sites has reached its highest point now. PokerStars.es has recovered and now boasts of 1,500 registered active cash game players, a significant 40% rise in player volume from June and a 20% rise from the days in which the online poker room went live in Spain.
PokerStars.es is now well on the way to becoming the largest online poker room in Spain, far surpassing PokerStars.it, its Italian version. The online poker room is also turning out to be a tough competitor for Winamax.fr, the French online poker service, which happens to be the sixth largest online poker room at the international level.
The other online poker operators, who have grown steadily along with PokerStars.es are PartyPoker.es, which offers both Bwin Poker as well as Party Poker. Traffic to the Party Poker network shot up by 25%, and today PartyPoker.es is the third largest online poker room in Spain, coming closer and closer to its competitor 888 Poker, which has fallen behind because it recently denied access to all non Spanish poker players to its .es service.
Spanish players have gotten to trust the well-regulated poker market; besides, operators are using excellent marketing strategies, leading to its boom.