Sports betting drives Portuguese online gambling revenue up 81.9% in Q2

| By Robert Fletcher
Portugal’s regulator Serviço de Regulação Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ) reported an 81.9% year-on-year increase in online gambling revenue for the second quarter of 2021, primarily due to a 224.5% jump in sports betting revenue.

Overall online gambling revenue reached €125.0m (£105.9m/$146.5m) in the three-month period, up from 68.7m in the corresponding period last year, but slightly down on €128.3m in the first quarter of 2021.

Sports betting revenue hiked from €20.8m to €67.5m, with this mainly down to the easing of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions. Betting options in Q2 last year were severely limited as almost all sports events were cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic.

A wider array of betting options in the quarter, including the early stages of Uefa’s European Championship national football team tournament, also saw the amount bet on sports online rocket 236.2% to €304.9m.

Incidentally, football was the most popular sport to bet on, with 77.5% of all online sports bets being on football in Q2. Tennis ranked second with 9.6% of the market share, followed by basketball with 8.7%

Online casino also saw some growth, with revenue here increasing 20.0% to €57.5m and the amount spent by consumers rising 25.2% year-on-year to €1.65bn.

Slots remained by far the game of choice for consumers, accounting for 76.0% of all casino bets in Q2, followed by roulette on 10.1% and blackjack with 5.4%.

A total of 151,900 new players signed up for online gambling accounts in the quarter, while 93,600 people had self-excluded from online betting by the end of the period, up from 56,600 at the end of Q2 last year.

Turning to retail and revenue in this sector reached €30.6m, some 166.7% higher than in the same Q2 of last year when the market was severely hit by the pandemic. Covid-19 measures meant retail was closed for almost the entire quarter, meaning consumers were limited to online gambling for a large portion of the period.

Gaming machine was the main source of retail income, with revenue here reaching €24.6m, up 159.0% from €10.2m in 2020, while other land-based gambling revenue was 223.1% up to €4.2m.

American roulette was the post popular form of non-machine retail gambling, turning €1.5m in revenue during the quarter, ahead of baccarat on €883,170 and blackjack with €775,530.

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