- Portugal has seen an increase in their internet gambling industry.
- The country has taken in over $22 million in revenue for the first quarter.
- Online gambling has surpassed revenue totals for land-based facilities for the first time in history due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
LISBON, Portugal – Internet gambling in Portugal with both casino and sports betting platforms combined have had an increase in revenue for their first quarter, seeing a spike of almost 50%.
In total, the country’s online gambling revenue saw $76.2 million, increasing their numbers by 47.5% for the quarter, and making history with the highest recorded return for the internet gambling market in the country.
With the Coronavirus pandemic being a current reality around the world, this was also the first time that online outlets in Portugal took in more money than that of land-based casinos.
The Revenue Numbers Breakdown
The internet gaming platforms can be broken down into two categories, casino games and legal sports betting. Casino online gaming brought in $38.56 million for the first quarter which is a growth of 56.5%.
Sports betting with internet platforms brought in $37.68 million which is a 39.2% growth in business.
Over $162.8 million was bet on sports for the quarter according to Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos the countries regulatory authority. The bulk of those wagers were placed on soccer with basketball, tennis, and hockey comprising the remainder of bets on the games.
For internet casino games, slots were the biggest moneymaker, accounting for nearly 70% of all business. Over $1 billion was gambled in casino games online. Roulette and blackjack were the other two most popular games played.
Land-based casinos brought in $67.7 million in revenue. Of that, $55.7 million came from slots or other gambling machines. This showed a decline of 18.3% from last year’s numbers.
The other $12 million came from regular casino gaming. Those numbers dropped by 12.6% from this time last year. Despite the land-based drop, Portugal’s government was able to collect $22.72 million through internet gaming tax revenue. This equated to a 40% increase from 2019.
While the country is profiting through the increase of gambling on the internet, they have shown concern for their citizens. Partido das Pessoas, dos Animais e da Natureza (PAN) have drawn up Bill 326, a new piece of legislation that would have restrictions put on various internet gaming platforms and their accessibility to the public.
Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the country declared a state of emergency, internet gambling numbers have been on the rise.
“There is an urgent need to guard against a situation that could potentially have very harmful effects – unlimited and uncontrolled access to online gaming channels, which is exacerbated by the partial stopping of the economy,” states Bill 326.
“People with impulse control issues, may feel less in control of their behavior and therefore gamble more, with worsening emotional and financial consequences. We believe that it appears vital; to establish restrictions on access to online gaming platforms, avoiding intense play, which can trigger or worsen compulsive gambling habits.”
Until the bill goes through, revenue for internet gambling in Portugal could continue to rise because of the Coronavirus pandemic and people turning to online outlets for their gambling needs.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.