Portuguese Regulator Reveals the Results from Q3, the Revenue Hit Records

Portugal’s online gaming market is rapidly evolving into a contender in the global gaming arena- and it is surprising! Over the last couple of years, Portugal has witnessed a remarkable transformation in its online gambling landscape. So much so that the nation’s sector is now regarded as a formidable force.

While Portugal may not have been customarily viewed as a gambling hub in comparison to its Western European counterparts such as Spain, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom’s vast gambling empire, the world is certainly noticing Portugal now. 

Portugal’s transformation can be attributed to several key factors, including regulatory advancements, technological integration, and a shifting perception of the gambling industry within the country.

Online betting revenue hits new quarterly high in Portugal

In Q3, online betting revenue in Portugal hit a new quarterly high, a trend that the country’s market has maintained. iGaming revenue in Portugal hit a high of €215.3 million, which is approximately $235.4 million in Q3. 

The combined market revenue in the 3 months to September 30th, 2023 exceeded the record of €122.0 million, which was previously set in Q2. In the second quarter, iGaming revenue in Portugal stood at a record €205.9 million or $217.5 million. 

Q3’s, therefore, surpassed Q2’s record by 4.6%. Online games of chance contributed €133.4m of revenue in Q3. This was a 50.5% year-on-year growth. It is worth noting that online games of chance have consistently accounted for 62.0% of all online gambling revenue in Q3.

Gamblers in the country were also more willing to engage in online gambling, as was evident in the increased spending, which reached €3.65 billion in Q3. This surge represented a considerable surge of 47.2%, which was yet another milestone for Portugal’s thriving gambling market.

Slots were the most dominant choice for punters comprising 82.3%. French roulette, on the other hand, represented 6.4% while blackjack accounted for 6.2% of the combined spend. While the sector celebrated a surge in overall online gambling revenue, the sports betting scene experienced a bit of a rough patch.

In Q3, sports betting revenue hit €81.9 million, marking a 17.7% increase from 2022. However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows – this figure was 2.5% lower than what was recorded in Q2, making it the third consecutive quarter of decline for the sports betting vertical.

Even though sports bettors showed fervor by spending 12.1% more year-on-year on online sports gambling, which allowed the sector to reach a total of €390.5 million, sports betting still experienced a dip. As far as the Q3 sports betting action was concerned, a whopping 71.4% of bets were placed on football, showing that it’s the clear fan favorite.

Tennis followed at 22.2%, with 6.4% spread across various other sports. So, why the decline in sports betting revenue? It’s a bit of a puzzle, considering the overall positive trend in the online gambling scene. As Portugal’s online gaming landscape continues to evolve, keeping an eye on the twists and turns of the sports betting market will be key.

Shifting our focus from the online realm to the world of physical casinos, Portugal’s land-based gambling sector has also been making waves of its own. In Q3, revenue from land-based gambling reached €76.1 million, representing a strong 14.0% increase compared to the previous year.

Land-based casinos in Portugal also grow in Q3

A substantial portion of this revenue, €57.2 million to be precise, was generated from physical slot machines. Despite a modest 1.0% uptick from the previous year, these slot machines dominated the scene, accounting for a whopping 75.1% of all revenue in Q3. It seems the allure of the classic slot machine still holds a strong appeal for casino-goers.

The remaining €18.9 million came from casino-style and bingo games, experiencing a notable surge of 35.6%. This growth indicates a diversified interest among patrons who are exploring a variety of gaming options beyond the iconic slot machines.

Breaking down the numbers further, specific games stood out in contributing to the land-based gambling revenue. Baccarat, a classic favorite, generated €5.9 million in Q3 revenue, while American roulette and blackjack followed closely with €5.8 million and €3.3 million, respectively.

Responsible gambling a cornerstone in Portugal’s success

As the country continues to make massive strides in the international online betting sector, Portugal’s commitment to regulatory excellence, technological innovation, and a changing societal perspective towards gambling is largely responsible for the country’s success.

According to the Q3 figures that were published by the Gaming Regulation and Inspection Service or SRIJ (Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos), which is responsible for regulating the gambling sector in Portugal, more gamblers also joined self-exclusion programs in Q3.

SRIJ revealed that 196,600 gamblers had self-excluded from online betting by the end of Q3. This represented close to 42.5% from the same period in 2022. It is also worth noting that while more people opted for self-exclusion, approximately 205,200 new online registrations were also reported during the quarter.

In an effort to make Portugal’s betting scene safer for punters, SRIJ also ordered the shutdown of 23 online gambling platforms in Q3. These shutdowns were enforced as part of SRIJ’s commitment to ensuring a safe and secure betting environment for punters. Some of the platforms in question may have failed to comply with the licensing requirements set by SRIJ.

According to SRIJ, non-compliance may include an array of issues including financial transparency, responsible gaming practices, or adherence to regulatory standards. The main goal of SRIJ has always been to protect gamblers. If any of the platforms were found to engage in unfair practices, fraud, or other activities that could harm punters, shutting them down was a preventive measure to safeguard the interests of the players.

Final Thoughts

The future holds immense potential for Portugal’s online gambling market, making it a compelling and noteworthy player in the ever-evolving world of online gaming. Portugal’s land-based gambling industry is flourishing, showing that the allure of traditional casino games remains strong.

As online and land-based gambling sectors each carve out their space in Portugal’s gaming landscape, the diversity of gaming options appears to be a winning formula, attracting a broad spectrum of gaming enthusiasts. The synergy between online and offline gambling experiences no doubt paints a promising picture of Portugal’s dynamic and evolving gambling scene.

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