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Online pushes Portuguese gambling revenue up in Q1 but retail struggles

| By Robert Fletcher
Gambling revenue in Portugal increased 1.9% year-on-year during the first quarter of 2021, despite a sharp drop in retail activity due to restrictions related to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Portugal Q2

Overall revenue in the three months to 31 March totalled €134.3m (£116.0m/$163.6m), up from €131.8m in the corresponding period last year, according to data published by national regulator Serviço de Regulação Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ). 

Online was by far the primary source of revenue in Q1, accounting for €128.3m in revenue for the quarter, up 82.8% from €70.2m in 2020 and a record quarterly total in the country.

Revenue from online sports betting jumped 101.5% to €69.5m, while the amount spent by players on sports wagering during Q1 rocketed by 184.1% from €149.2m to €423.8m.

Football accounted for 81.3% of all bets placed online in Q1, ahead of basketball on 9.2% and tennis with 5.6%.

Turning to online casino and revenue jumped 64.3% year-on-year to €58.8m, while the amount wagered by consumers also increased by 65.1% to €1.61bn – the first time the country has surpassed the €1.0bn mark.

Online slots were the most popular form of casino games, accounting for 72.9% of all online casino bets in Q1, followed by roulette with a 12.3% share and blackjack on 6.4%.

SRIJ also revealed that 329,400 players signed up for new online gambling accounts during the quarter, more than double the amount on Q1 of last year, while a total of 86,100 people had self-excluded from online gambling by the end of the quarter, compared to 52,100 at the same point in 2020.

In terms of retail, revenue plummeted 90.3% from €62.0m in Q1 of 2020 to €6.0m in the opening three months of 2021. This was due to the temporary closure of gambling venues in the quarter, in line with Covid-19 restrictions that were in place across Portugal during the period. Almost all of the retail revenue that was collected came in January.

Gaming machines revenue was down 91.6% to €5.2m, while revenue from other forms of land-based gambling dropped 92.6% to €812,750.

American roulette accounted for half – €411,140 – of other land-based gambling revenue, while €202,130 was attributed to blackjack and baccarat revenue amounted to €94,890.

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