SBC News SRIJ: Portugal’s gambling maintains record-breaking streak in 2023

SRIJ: Portugal’s gambling maintains record-breaking streak in 2023

Portugal’s Gaming Regulation and Inspection Service (SRIJ) – part of the National Tourism Authority which governs gambling activity – has published its latest quarterly report on the developments in the country’s betting and gaming industry.

Online betting and gaming 

A detailed look into Portugal’s online betting and gaming market highlights that all 17 entities currently authorised to carry out relevant operations in the country held a total of 30 licences as of Q3 ‘23 – 13 for sports betting and 17 for online games of chance. 

The sector once again proved to be record-breaking for that period, with around €215.3m raised in gross revenue – up €9.4m from the previous quarter. But while online games of chance pulled an increase of  €11.5m when pitted against Q2 ‘23, sports betting saw a decline of €2.1m. 

However, both verticals together brought an increase in gross revenue of €57m compared to the third quarter of 2022 (36% YoY increase) – with both igaming and sports betting raking in €44.8m and €12.3m more respectively. 

In terms of volume, sports bets in Q3 ‘23 reached €390.5m – 12.1% more than Q3 ‘22 and an uptick of 9.2% when compared to Q2 ‘23. Football emerged as the most popular sport in the country, representing 71.4% of the total volume of sports bets placed. 

SRIJ further noted that the top football competitions to place a bet on in Q3 ‘23 were the Portuguese Primeira Liga, followed by the UEFA Champions League, Spain’s La Liga and the English Premier League. 

Tennis came in second in terms of popularity, securing around 22% of the sports bets made in the quarter, with the most followed tournament being the United States Open followed by the Wimbledon Open. 

Online gaming activity on the other hand saw an increase of 47.2% compared to the third quarter of 2022. The majority of this came from machine games, with French Roulette, Blackjack, French Bank and Poker among the most popular choices for players in Portugal. 

Land-based games and venues

The paper highlights that gross revenue from land-based casinos and slot machines reached around €76.1m in the third quarter of 2023, which according to SRIJ is 14% more compared to the previous quarter and a 7.8% YoY increase from Q3 2022. 

Divided into months, August saw the highest value of gross gaming revenue generated, with a total of €27.2m, followed closely by July and September with €25.8m and 23.1m respectively. 

An increase can also be seen when looking at gross revenue generated by bingo activity, with a 9.1% jump from Q2’ 23 and also being 3.9% higher than the same period in 2022. 

August is again the leader in bingo, which generated 2.39m, with July and September trailing behind with 2.38m and 2.24m respectively. 

Some of the biggest casino games in Portugal in Q3 ‘23 proved to be American Roulette, Baccarat, Black‐Jack and French Bank (Portuguese dice game), which together represented around 92.8% of generated gross revenue.

National market prospects 

The significant growth of the Portuguese market has continued to fuel the country’s online sportsbook competition, attracting an increasing number of operators such as LeBull.pt, which hopes to push the market towards maturity. LeBull recently signed Digitain as its partner to help navigate the market’s saturation. 

SRIJ is also working together with the whole industry towards establishing a safe responsible gambling environment to be on par with the highest European standards, allowing players to self-exclude for a period of up to five years if they choose to.

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