An annual report from CeJuego, the Spanish Gaming Business Council, found that in 2022, 83.9% of the Spanish population aged 18 to 75 participated in gambling.

The percentage corresponds to 29.5 million people.

The report is based on CeJuego’s Game and Society survey, which examines the gaming habits of adults in Spain. The 2023 edition found that although Spanish adults participate in gambling, they tend to participate in low-risk games that do not promise high reward.

The survey found that 23.3 million people played national lotteries, ONCE games or La Quinela.

A total of 17.9% of Spaniards play games offered in casinos, arcades and bingo halls and take part in sports betting. That corresponds to 6.3 million people. The report highlighted that this is well below, for example, the number who said they went to the theater in their free time – 24.5%.

However, at 16.1%, this figure is higher than the proportion of those who said they are involved in painting and, at 9.6%, is almost twice as high as the proportion of those who play musical instruments.

Alejandro Landaluce, general director of CeJuego, said that people with a similar interest in gambling can participate in other activities.

“Users have the same relationship with gaming that they can have with other forms of leisure.”

Aversion to gambling

According to the report, 5.6 million people did not gamble at all in 2022.

The survey also found that 15-20% of Spaniards are reluctant to gamble. CeJuego said this was due to a number of factors, including religious reasons and fear of losing money. This also includes young people under the age of 25 and people who live in low-income households.

Elsewhere, 14.3% of men surveyed said they would take part in the National Lottery weekly in 2022 – i.e. on both Thursdays and Sundays. In comparison, the figure is 12.3% of the women surveyed.

In the El Niño lottery – a lottery that takes place on January 6th every year – the number of men and women participating has been fairly evenly split over the past three years. In 2020, 2021 and 2022, 49.6% of women participated, compared to 50.4% of men. The report said El Niño will affect a “very high percentage of those experiencing financial problems or delays in paying mortgages, rent, consumer credit or household goods.”

Return to normality after Covid-19

CeJuegos also reported that the Spanish gambling industry has returned to normal following the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, Spain has decided to temporarily restrict gambling advertising, allowing advertising on television and radio only between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. daily. This came after the country’s gambling regulator, La Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), reported an increase in gambling activity during the lockdowns.

The ban was in effect from April 2020 to June 2020.

CeJuegos’ report found that the level of gambling activity had increased compared to 2020 and 2021 – the years most affected by the pandemic. In 2020, 80.9% of Spaniards participated in some form of gambling. The number increased gradually, reaching 82.4% in 2021 and finally reaching 83.9% in 2022.