Portuguese iGambling Market Shrinks to Just €11.4M in Q2August 2, 2017 3:02 pm
Portugal issued its first official online poker license at the end of 2016, with PokerStars still the only brand operating in the southern European nation of 10.3 million people. In Q1 of 2017, the nascent industry subsequently generated €4.6 million in revenue, but since then the market appears to have shrunk, with the latest financial results released by the country’s gambling Commission, Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ), showing just €3.7 million in revenue for Q2.
From that tally, cash game poker accounted for €2.7 million of revenue in Q2, down from the €3.3 million collected during the previous quarter, while tournament poker totaled €991,800 compared to the €1.3 million generated in Q1.
Furthermore, online poker traffic appears to have dramatically slowed since the initial interest shown post-regulation when PokerStars.pt enjoyed a weekly average of 2,000 cash game players, versus its current 7-day average of 425 players, and a 24-hour peak of 1,082. Judging by the latest figures, the shared poker liquidity agreement between Portugal, France, Italy and Spain couldn’t come soon enough for the country’s struggling online poker market.
Overall, Portugal’s online casino industry, including poker, reported a decline in its revenue from €13.9 million in Q1 to just €11.4 million in Q2. Breaking the figures down further, the slots segment accounted for 38.1% of revenue, followed by poker with around a 32.7% share, then roulette (19.8%), and blackjack (9.3%).
Sports betting, too, has been on a steady decline since online gambling was permitted last summer, and in Q2 of 2017 the segment generated a total of €13.9 million, lower by 20% versus Q1 2017. For the first half of the year, football has continued to attract the most interest with a 75% of wagers, followed by tennis (14%), basketball (8.7%).
All told, the Portuguese government has now earned €16.3 million in online gambling taxes for the first half of 2017, representing around one-quarter of all revenues generated by the country’s licensed online gambling operators.