Portugal's online gambling market sees best quarterly performance to date
Portugal's tourism regulatory body, the Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ), has released it's Q1 for 2019, with figures showing revenue is on the up after the online gambling market saw its best quarterly performance to date.
The positive result is attributed to players having a greater number of online options, with online gambling licensees reaping the benefits of the boom in activity. Generated revenue for licensees stood at €47.3m in the three months ending March 31. The sum is a hefty 43.8% improvement over the same period last year, €4.3m higher than the market reported in Q4 2018 and a new record high since the regulated market launched in May 2016.
As of March 31, the SRIJ had issued licenses to 10 different companies, three more than at the end of Q1 2018. These companies held a total of 16 licenses (seven for sports betting, nine for online casino/poker).
The sportsbook operators generated combined revenue of €24.8m, a 42.5% year-on-year rise. Betting turnover was up nearly 30% to €131.3m, with football accounting for nearly 73% of online wagering, followed by basketball (11.5%), tennis (10.1%) and hockey (3%).
Revenue from online ‘games of chance’ was up nearly 46% to €22.6m, while turnover gained 43.5% to €608.6m. Slots accounted for 63.5% of online casino/poker spending, followed by roulette (14.8%) and blackjack (7.8%).
Poker, which falls under the ‘games of chance’ designation, generated a combined 13.9% share, with cash poker games (8.9%) outperforming tournaments (5%). The overall poker share has fallen each quarter since posting a 20.4% share of online casino revenue in Q2 2018.
The poker vertical will likely get a slight boost in the coming months as 888 Holdings – which only received its Portuguese license in January, joining PokerStars as the market’s only poker licensees – recently received the SRIJ’s permission to share international liquidity with its operations in France and Spain.
The market’s expanding number of online options resulted in a surge of new player registrations in Q1. The SRIJ’s licensees reported 125,200 new customer signups during the quarter, compared with 89,500 in the same period last year. Around 318k customers made at least one online bet during the period, around half of which bet exclusively on sports, while one-third bet exclusively on casino games.