Portugal Grows in 2018; More Adaptations in the Works

Published February 5, 2019 by Lee R

Portugal Grows in 2018; More Adaptations in the Works

SRIJ reports strong yearly and quarterly figures, with adapting taxation the next challenge in Portugal.

In the second full year of the newly regulated market, Portugal's online operators have reported revenue growth of nearly a 25%.

Licencee Performance

According to Portugal regulatory authority Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ), the national market had nine online gambling licencees, which has since expanded to 10. The 9 licencees closed the year strongly, pulling combined revenues of €43m in Q4 2018, for a near 18% year-on-year improvement.

The Q4 Breakdown

Sports betting licensees reported revenue of €21.6m in Q4 for a €1.1m year-on-year jump. Betting turnover was up nearly one-third to €110.6m in Q4, a pleasant jump from Q3's FIFA World Cup months. However, revenues ultimately fell 9% year-on-year as a result in a spike in punter-friendly results in December.

Online casino revenue including online poker reached a record high of €21.5m in Q4, a one-third year-on-year jump and a €1.1m sequential jump from Q3 2018.

Slots brought in over three fifths of the totals, with roulette and blackjack taking 14% and 8.5% shares, respectively, followed by poker cash games (10.6%) and tournaments (5.3%).

Customer Levels

As for patronage, online licensees in the Portugal market reported upwards of 103k new account registrations for Q4, for a 22% drop year-on-year.


By the end of 2018, the total number of customers opting to self-exclude was 31.5k, a figure representing 2.7% of the consumer market, an increase of just under .5 year-on-year.

ISP Blocks

Disciplinary measures in Q4 included the SRIJ directing local internet service providers to block the domains of 19 internationally licensed online gambling found to be serving Portugal players without a license, with 13 of those blocked further referred to the public prosecutor’s office for ignoring the SRIJ directives to cease activity.

Overall 2018 Revenues

2018 revenue was up overall 24% to €152.1m, with sports betting up 16% to €78.9m and online casino/poker gaining up more than one-third to €72.3m.

Outlook Moving Forward

At this point, the lingering obstacle for maximising growth is perceived as the flat taxing of operator betting turnover at up to 16%. A revenue-based tax model is under consideration by government officials to emulate more equitable regulation models currently in effect in Europe, with recommendations due within a month.

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