Portugal gambling authority, Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ), has announced the figures for the period between May 2016 and March 31, 2017, which offers a pretty good insight in the country’s online gambling market.
During the 10 month period, the online market of the westernmost country of mainland Europe generated an amount of €82.2 million.
The situation on the local market has drastically changed since late May, when the new law came into effect. The law itself was finally approved back in 2015, after several years of deliberation.
In practice, the law allowed foreign-based operators to apply for a license, thus enabling them to legally operate in Portugal.
Sports Betting Down, Casino Games on the Rise
The results published by SRIJ also reveal the situation after the first three months of 2017. The figures show an increase of 13.7% when compared to the previous quarter, and a total of €31 million generated in Q1.
The most popular online gambling activity is sports betting, which accounted for nearly 70% of the overall revenue. The two licensed betting operators recorded the revenue of €57.6 million. These data, of course, refer to the last ten months.
In the first quarter of the year, sports betting recorded a drop of around 3.4% in comparison with the last quarter of 2016, generating a revenue of €17.4 million. There is definitely a reason to be worried, especially since the drop is nearly 22% when compared to the third quarter of 2016.
Casino games represent the remaining portion of the generated revenue.
The first three months of the year saw a jump in revenue of more than a half than in the last quarter of 2016, to a total of €13.9 million.
The Portuguese players have a wide variety of casino games to choose from, while the most popular choices have been slot machines (34% of the market), poker (23.7%) and tournament poker (9%).
Problems For Future Development
Since the new law came into effect, SRIJ has issued six online gambling licenses to a total of four companies. But although many expected a market offensive, it never came and many of those operators left the country. The reason is Portugal’s current gambling tax policy.
Sports betting operators are obliged to pay an 8%-16% tax on their turnover, while online casino licenses are taxed based on the gross gaming revenue, while the rates go from 15% to 30% depending on the revenue.
SRIJ and Portuguese legislators promised to review the situation, but not before mid-2018, which can deal a huge blow to the efforts to attract new operators and investments..