Portugal Market Grows with a Ninth Licence Issue, but at What Cost?Published September 12, 2017 by Lee R
Early growth may not be sustainable without adaptation in Portugal’s new market.
Portugal has issued the ninth online gambling in its newly regulated jurisdiction, even as the appeal of the market for foreign entrants continues to drop.
The New Licence
According to the Portugal regulatory body Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ) online license #009 has been issued to operator Sociedade Figueira Praia, the Portugal-licensed operator which will operate online casino games under its brand Casino Portugal brand at Casinoportugal . pt.
Consolidation of Growth
Sociedade Figueira Praia’s parent company Amorim Turismo chairman Jorge Armindo Teixeira called his company’s foray the into online casino gambling a “consolidation of the growth” achieve in the early months of sports betting.
The preceding eight licenses issued by SRIJ in Portugal to date are shared between has issued to date, eight are shared between four other companies: Betclic Everest Group, BET Entertainment Technologies and Estoril Sol, whom each hold dual licenses to operate both sports betting and casino sites to Portugal customers; and PokerStars, sole holders of a poker license to serve Portuguese players online.
Portugal’s regulated online market is barely a year old. Launched in June of 2016 to hopes for resuscitating the country’s failing economy, early gains gave way to quarterly revenue declines for the three months ending June 30, 2017.
Licenced Operator Concerns
While PokerStars happily maintains a monopoly, other operators have experienced the stonewall of a significant tax burden which is making them think twice about staying in the market.
Meanwhile, land-based casinos are performing better, with Portugal casino operators reporting a revenue surplus of €75.2m for Q2, representing a 6.7% from the same period last year.
The Market Overall
Overall, SRIJ reports that the Portuguese online gambling industry grew to an estimated market value of €82.2m in the period from May 2016 to March 2017, with the country’s licenced operators generating over €31m during the first quarter of 2017, representing a year-on-year jump of 13.7% from 2016’s Q2 take of €27m.
The growth figures remain promising-sounding, but they will not sustain if existing operators leave, which would not only remove their tax contributions, but discourage other operators from entering the market and contributing to taxation revenues of the Portugal government. It appears more adaptation will be necessary to generate a truly sustainable regulation model and atmosphere in Portugal.