Portugal Welcomes 888 With New License, and Shows GrowthPublished January 31, 2019 by Lee R
Portugal seems to be gaining the infrastructure for accelerated growth with a key market addition.
Now that Portugal is rounding into shape, some heavy hitters are getting involved, starting with 888 Holdings.
The New 888 License
As of Monday, Portugal regulatory authority Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ) announced it has issued the licence to 888 Portugal Limited, with the company to operate in the country using the 888.pt domain.
New 888 Capabilities
Under the terms of the new license 888 will offer online slots, French roulette, and multiple poker variants, with the casino product already live on the new site with the poker page bearing a ‘get ready cuz poker is coming’ message.
First Healthy Competition
When the 888 poker product is ready, poker players in Portugal’s regulated online market will have their first alternative to The Stars Group’s PokerStars brand, which has enjoyed a competition-less local market in Portugal as PokerStars since November 2016.
Portugal's License Landscape
The 888 issue represents 16th license issued by SRIJ since the launch of Betclic Everest as the country’s first locally regulated website in May 2016, with the 16 licenses distributed amongst 10 operators primarily offering sports betting and casino products to date.
888 joins betclic.pt, bet.pt, estorilcasinos.pt, pokerstars.pt, casinoportugal.pt, casinosolverde.pt, nossaaposta.pt and luckia.pt. and others, with the news bolstering 888 Holdings shares up 1.11 per cent at 173.00 pence per share in London Tuesday morning.
For Q3 market share, poker tournaments and cash games brought in 16.7% of Portugal’s regulated online market s Q3 2018, up higher (20.4%) than the Q2 report.
The Ring Factor
This is a key period for Portugal poker because of the cross-liquidity deal signed with regulated operators in France and Spain signed in July 2017 to boost all these markets heretofore struggling poker verticals.
Ringed Regulators Celebrate
Regulators have been celebrating the new era, with the three markets earlier this month issuing a joint statement marking the first anniversary since PokerStars became the first operator to launch shared liquidity, expressing their “general satisfaction for the evolution of this new shared online ecosystem.”
The seamlessness of shared liquidity combined with the key new entry of 888 to Portugal should have the market experiencing robust new growth at some point in 2019.