Portugal has posted €152.1m in online betting and gaming revenue for 2018, the second full year of regulation in the country, up 24% on the prior year.
Sports wagering was again the main source of income for licensed operators in the 12 months to December 31, 2018. Revenue from this vertical amounted to €78.9m, up from €68.1m in 2017, according to figures from national regulator Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ).
Much of this was down to increased spend on the 2018 Fifa World Cup football tournament, which took place from June 14 to July 15. In Q2, World Cup betting accounted for 74.4% of all sports wagers, with revenue at €20.5m.
Online casino gaming revenue also increased from €54.4m in 2017 to €73.2m, representing an increase of 34% year-on-year.
However, despite the draw of the World Cup, the fourth quarter proved to be the most successful for licensed operators, with revenue at €43.0m, up from €36.5m in the final quarter of 2017.
Sports betting revenue was at its highest in Q4, with operators reporting revenue of €21.6m from amounts wagered of €110.6m. In comparison, stakes was lower in both Q2 (€89.8m) and Q3 (€90.1m) when the World Cup was actually taking place, with total sports betting spend for 2018 amounting to €391.8m.
Online casino was also at its highest in the fourth quarter, with revenue at a year-high of €21.5m and total stakes of €576.4m. Online slots proved most popular with consumers in the final three months of the year, with 61.6% of all wagers placed on these games.
French roulette was some way behind in second with a market share of 14.0% for the quarter, then poker cash games on 10.6%, despite being handed a boost with Portugal joining a shared liquidity network with France and Spain last February.
The SRIJ also noted that by the end of 2018, a total of 31,500 consumers had opted to self-exclude from gambling. However, the regulator raised concerns when it stated that of all players registered for online gambling, 2.7% of these are currently self-excluded.
In addition, the SRIJ provided an update on its blocking efforts, saying that up to December 31, 2018, a total of 338 illegal gambling operators had been told to cease operations in the country. Internet service providers were instructed to block 270 sites that, despite warnings from the SRIJ, had continued to operate in the country.
Portugal launched its regulated online gambling market in May 2016.