Portugal Moves Forward to Resuscitate the MarketPublished February 12, 2016 by Lee R
Positive growth form limited iGaming offerings secures full-scale expansion.
Portugal's casino market is in recovery.
According to the country's governing regulating body, the market indeed recorded a year-on-year increase for 2015, a step in the right direction towards restabilizing itself to the levels it was at before a precipitous decline.
According to the Associação Portuguesa de Casino (ACP), the 11 operating casinos posted revenues of €288.6 million ($312.8 million) last year, improving 8% from the 2014 12-month period.
The breakdown saw table game revenue gain 12.4% year-on-year, and slot machine revenue increasing 7.2%.
The biggest casino earner by company in Portugal was Estoril-Sol, which generated €182.3 million.
The positive growth is the first step hopefully of a few that can complete a recovery from the 37% decline experienced between 2008 and 2014 that the market is seeking to rebound from.
Full-scale Implementation Plan
A full market for gaming will be launched later this year in Portugal. According to Portugal Secretary of State for Tourism Adolfo Mesquita Nunes, the target date has been set for June 28, after a the Council of Ministers March 2015 approval of a bill to establish a legal framework for online gaming, later signed off on by President Aníbal Cavaco Silva to conclude a decade of deliberation.
The licensing and regulation will be overseen by Portuguese national regulator Santa Casa de Misericordia de Lisboa, with the body to be responsible for a number of additional tasks that the new structure will require.
Licenses will be open to both Portuguese and international operators who seek to operate gaming sites originating in Portugal, with regulators seeking a target figure of €25 million ($27.7 million) in added tax revenue.
Smaller Scale Example
With applicants required to submit financial guarantees and undergo a three year trial period, the Portugal example demonstrates how a smaller struggling market is still developing an effective full scale system of implementation, and for smaller countries with struggling economies, the effectiveness of the Portugal model will bear particular consideration and scrutiny.