Promising Portugal: online casino market reaches new high

  • Rise in market worth represents a 13.7% increase between two financial quarters
  • Online casino gambling and sports betting on the rise with the country’s bettors

Ten months after the country’s official opening to newly regulated betting services, Portugal’s online gambling market is now worth close to $92 million (€82 million).

portugal online casino record revenues

According to estimated figures by Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos – the country’s gambling regulators – the €82 million profit was generated by Portugal’s online wagering market between May 2016 and March 2017.

Operators from around the world welcome

This rise comes after the country’s government approved, in 2015, a fresh online regulatory framework that was designed to oversee Portugal’s online casino and betting sector and allow operators from across the world to legally provide their products to the country’s players.

Under this new legislation, Portuguese punters can legally partake in roulette, blackjack, poker, online slots, and baccarat, providing the operators hold a valid license.

Portugal saw an increase of 13.7% in money generated by legal Portugal-facing online operators, to €31 million in the first quarter of 2017 up from €27 million in the final one of 2016.

The biggest winners

It has been revealed that 30% of Portugal’s online gambling revenue was generated by online casino games such as poker. This sector added €25.1 million to the overall revenue of the market during the seven months between July 2016 and March 2017.

Of this revenue, online slot games accounted for 34% of online casino takings, cash game poker added 23.7%, and tournament poker contributed 9%.

Leading the way, however, is the sports betting industry, which claimed the most sizeable share of Portugal’s online gambling market and accounted for 70% of the country’s overall revenue for the 10 months between May 2016 and March 2017.

This was achieved by only two licensed and legal gambling operators for the country, who together generated roughly €57.6 million across those 10 months since the new laws came in.

Tax troubles

Portuguese regulators have issued only six online gambling licenses in the 10-month period following the change in legislature that allowed international companies to operate within the country’s web-space.

Just four companies received these licenses – a significant achievement given the country’s demand and potential. But it is said that many of those companies have since abandoned their efforts in Portugal due to its gambling tax regime.

It seems that may have some time to wait for change too, as apparently these concerns will only be addressed in mid-2018 – which will mark two years since the laws came into effect.

Of course, if Portugal wants to continue generating such sizeable revenue, it may have to amend these tax laws. If not, the results could be detrimental to such a promising online casino industry.

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