Sports betting has been falling in Portugal the last few months due to the launching of the regulated online market. The performance was good when the Euro 2016 tournament and launch coincided. The tax burden introduced later caused the operators to threaten to quit. The online sports betting revenue for 2018’s first quarter totaled €33 million or $40.4 million. This is slightly larger than the same quarter for the previous year at €2.5 million. When this year ended the revenue was €2.7 million less.
The agencies in the sports betting sector are struggling for survival. The national gambling regulator for Portugal is SRIJ. They have released numbers showing online casinos in Portugal are booming. When a comparison was made regarding the casino’s four major gambling divisions, the top revenue generators were slot machines. During the year’s first quarter slots accounted for 55.7 percent of the total revenue. The market share for poker was second at 18.6 percent. French roulette was third with 16.1 percent and blackjack fourth at 9.6 percent.
There has been a steep decline for all recorded sports betting revenue in Portugal. Sports betting is still leading revenue generation for all types of gambling. Sports are still being led by football. The market share is undisputed at 75 percent. Basketball came in at 10.6 percent with tennis the last in the top three with a market dominance of 9.6 percent. Hockey is not considered popular in Portugal. This changed due to the Winter Olympics and it received a major boost with a rise in the market share to 2.6 percent.
The market for Portugal’s regulated online gambling depends on the performance of the online casinos to balance out the repercussions from the drop in sports betting. A €16.4 million total has been contributed by online casino platforms. This represents a consistent growth of 18 percent for the last couple years. This growth is believed to be due to the three extra casino licenses issued by the SRIJ. Casino gambling increased with the additional market players. The move by the SRIJ is expected to increase online casino revenues. The SRIJ endorsed a move earlier in the month to enable other countries to share in the poker liquidity. This includes France and Spain with Italy joining soon.
A deal was signed by the gambling controllers from Portugal, Italy, Spain and France in July of 2017. This deal enables agencies active in the four different countries to blend their pools for the players. This will establish a poker player pool consisting of all four countries. The deal was kicked off by Spain and France and is working out well. The other two countries are expected to be inspired by this and join in soon. Significant progress has been made by Portugal on the deal and the plan has been incorporated into the budget for 2018 using amendments. This caters to each nations pooling poker players. Italy has not yet confirmed when their involvement will begin. This scheme was first implemented by PokerStars in April of 2018.