Portugal Opens the Tender Window for Two Land-Based LicencesPublished August 26, 2022 by Lee R
A covid rebound in the Portugal market looks set to kick into gear with new licences.
The Portugal licensing authority has opened bidding for licensing rights to two land-based casinos.
The Tender Process
Gaming regulator Serviços de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ) has announced the launch of a tender process for exclusive casino operation rights in Estoril and Figueira da Foz, the two regions where gambling is legal.
Fresh Post-Covid Licenses
The opening comes about as the result of the expiration of the current covid-extended licenses on 31 December 2022 and signals the beginning of the new post-Covid era of land-based gaming.
Rights of Licence
With eligible applicants identified to include domestic businesses as well as international operators with branches in Portugal, the tender window will be open for 30 days. Winners will gain exclusive rights to offer games of chance in Estoril and Figueira da Foz.
Further criteria for eligibility stipulate applicants to be a public limited company with offices headquartered within the EU-member or European Economic Area country, as subject to uniform anti-money laundering, fraud, and tax administrative cooperation agreements prevalent to the EU and EEA.
Current Rights Holders
Current casino rights holders include wood manufacturer Amorim, which operates Casino Figueira in the Figueira da Foz location. Amorim inherited casino rights when they purchased the business holding the previous concessionary rights: Sociedade Figueira Praia, SA.
The second Portugal gaming concession Casino Estoril is run by Stanley Ho-owned Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM), which also owns Macau concessionaire SJM.
Any vestige of a new economic gaming era post-covid is welcomed in Portugal, which is looking to rebound from a slowdown that saw a Q1 decline in the land-based gambling sector of 7.2% year-on-year to €53.9m, a trend which continued with a drop in the number of players in Q2.
Drops Create Urgency
These drops in 2022 were undesired and hastened the need for revenue boosts and license renewals for further terms to boost Portugal's economy.
H2 research indicated annual growth to be high across both sports betting and casino, showing annual growth of 32% and 30% respectively,
The pie remains significant for new entrants into Portugal's smaller market, with Statista projecting revenue in Portugal's gaming segment to reach US$256.10m in 2022. Revenue is expected to show annual growth of CAGR 6.90% from 2022 to 2027, culminating in a projected market volume of US$357.60m
New Tender Opportunity
The opportunity for two more licensees to enter the Portugal market should not be underestimated, where the pie is modest by barely needs to be split in this European country.
Two strong entrants could benefit from the opportunities and provide a needed boost to support the rebound of Portugal's iGaming industry.