Portugal sets new igaming revenue record in Q1

4 July 2019

Portugal’s regulated online gambling market achieved a new record quarterly revenue of €47.3m (£42.4m/$53.4m) during the first three months of the year, primarily due to year-on-year growth across sports betting and casino.

The figure, the highest quarterly total since the country launched its regulated market in May 2016, according to official figures released by national regulator Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ). It represents a 43.8% increase on the first quarter of 2018.

The Q1 total is also more than half of the igaming revenue Portugal generated in the whole of last year (€78.9m).

Sports betting was the main source of income for the market's ten igaming licensees, accounting for €24.8m of the total, up 42.5% on Q1 last year.

Portuguese punters wagered a total of €131.3m on sports during the quarter, with football responsible for 72.7% of all sports bets. Basketball followed with an 11.5% share of the sports betting market, then tennis on 10.1% and ice hockey with 3%.

In terms of customer spending, online casino was some way ahead, as punters wagered a total of €608.6m in the quarter. Operators generated €22.6m in revenue, up 45.9% year-on-year.

Slots were the most popular form of casino gambling in Q1, with a market share of 63%. French roulette ranked second with 14.8%, with blackjack on 7.8%.

However, it was more bad news for the poker market, which saw revenue drop for the third consecutive quarter. Cash games and tournaments had a combined market share of 13.9% for the online casino sector.

Meanwhile, SRIJ has also noted an increase in new sign-ups for the quarter, with a total of 125,200 consumers registering for online gaming accounts, up from 89,500 in the same period last year. This can be partly attributed to the fact there were three more licensed operators in Portugal than in Q1 of 2018.

By the end of the quarter, a total of 35,400 players had opted to self-exclude from online gambling activities, up from 21,100 in the corresponding period last year.

SRIJ also continued with its efforts to clamp down on unlicensed gambling in the country, issuing 49 notices for operators without a permit to cease activities and submitted 30 requests to internet service providers to block websites.

In terms of land-based gaming for the quarter, revenue slipped 2% year-on-year to €75.1m, primarily due to a decline in table games revenue.

Table games generated €11.6m in revenue, down 11% from €13.1m in Q1 of last year, with baccarat struggling in particular. Slots revenue remained relatively level at €62.5m, but combined poker and bingo revenue slipped 3% to €925,160.