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Sports betting growth drives Portugal to record online gambling revenue in Q4

| By Robert Fletcher
Online gambling revenue in Portugal reached a record €113.2m (£96.4m/$132.7m) in the fourth quarter, primarily due to significant growth in the country’s sports betting market.

Figures released by national regulator Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ) show that overall online revenue in the three months to 31 December 2020 was up 74.7% from €64.8m in Q4 of 2019.

Sports betting overtook casino games to become the main source of income for licensed operators in Portugal, with revenue from sports wagering rocketing 89.6% year-on-year to €64.1m.

Players wagered a total of €345.6m on sports, up 86.0% on 2019, with football being the most popular sport to wager on, accounting for 86.7% of all bets placed in the quarter. Basketball followed in a distant second with 5.2% of bets, then tennis on 4.9%.

Online casino revenue reached €49.1m in Q4, an increase of 57.9% on the same period in 2019 and the second successive quarter of growth for this segment of the market.

Consumer spending within this market was up 70.0% to €1.41bn. Some 71.1% of online casino bets were attributed to slot games in Q4, with roulette accounting for €12.6% of bets, blackjack 6.4% and poker 4.2%.

Players spent a total of €1.76bn gambling online in Q4, up 69.2% on the previous year.

Some 293,800 new players registered for accounts in the quarter, an increase of 79.3% on the same period in 2019. The SRIJ noted that a further 10,300 people signed up to self-exclude from gambling, with the total number on the list by the end of Q4 standing at 72,400.

The SRIJ also said that it blocked access to a further 49 sites that had been operating without the relevant approvals in Q4, while another 15 sites were ordered to halt activities in the country.

Since the regulator began taking action against unlicensed sites in June 2015, some 675 blocking orders have been distributed, as well as 680 notices to halt operations. 

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