Figures have been released recently from Portugal’s Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ) – the country’s regulatory body – which indicate that the online gambling scene has continued to sustain its gains after the hype of the World Cup last year. Operators reported growth in their revenue of almost one quarter in comparison to 2017. Considering that this is just the second year of the regulated market being in operation, it spells good news for the industry.
Together, Portugal’s nine gambling licensees managed to generate a total of €43 million through the last three months of 2018. This stands as being an improvement of just under 18% on the same period for the year previous.
In fact, the sports betting operators of Portugal handed in reports of €21.6 million in revenue for the fourth quarter, which is a very modest €1.1 million rise from 2017’s figure. However, betting turnover saw an increase to €110.6 million, which is a significantly higher figure than operators reported on during the FIFA World Cup last summer. Yet, the figure for revenue failed to keep up with this, due to a selection of results during December turning in the favour of bettors. Therefore, operator revenue would go on to fall by 9% for that period year-on-year.
How Did Online Casino Gambling Factor into This?
As far as online casino gambling is concerned, revenue figures hit a record high of €21.5 million for the Q4 period of last year. That’s a third higher than results of the same period in 2017, and also €1.1 million more than for the third quarter of 2018. It was the appeal of slot games that seemed to do it for Portugal, with more than ⅗ of this amount coming from such casino offerings.
Roulette gambling took credit for a 14% share of this revenue, while blackjack came in with an 8.5% amount. Finally, poker cash gaming took its own responsibility for a 10.6% cut of those profits, with tournament poker providing a 5.3% portion.
In addition to this, online licensees reported counting more than 103,000 new gambling account sign-ups in the fourth quarter of last year. While this is a decline of 22% from the previous year, and a total of 31.5K players had chosen to self-exclude to the period ending December 31, figures still show that Portugal has managed to improve overall on 2017.
Plus, the regulatory body of Portugal went on and directed its local ISPs to block 19 internationally-licensed gambling operators, which it said was catering to Portuguese players without actually having any authority to do so from the SRIJ. Furthermore, 13 of those operators were also referred to the country’s prosecution office, following their decision to ignore the SRIJ’s demands to shut up shop.
Things could be looking up even more for the country’s gambling scene, as the government chose to establish a group in late January of this year, which will revamp the entire market tax structure. Representatives coming from multiple governmental departments have been given one month to put forward their recommendations for such to the government.