In Q1 2023, the Portuguese online gaming sector reported a substantial uptick, with Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) hitting a landmark €196.4m, a modest increase on the €195.3m reported for Q4 2022. However, this signifies a notable 24.8% increase compared to the same period in the previous year.
Sports Betting Dominates the Online Sphere
Online sports betting contributed significantly to this rise, generating €85.7m of the total GGR, while other online activities were responsible for €110.7m. Interestingly, football was the sport of choice for most bettors, accounting for a whopping 70.6% of all sports bets placed, while basketball and tennis combined made up another 25%. This demonstrates a clear preference for these sports among Portuguese bettors.
However, despite the apparent enthusiasm for sports betting, the total amount wagered on sports during the quarter dipped by 3.8% from Q4 2022 to €441.4m. Nevertheless, this still represented a year-on-year increase of 19.5%.
The State of Land-Based Gaming
Land-based gaming, predominantly casinos and game machine rooms, reported a GGR of €65.9m for the quarter. This marked a 1.7% dip from Q4 2022, but it was still 22.2% higher than the same period in 2022. Gaming machines contributed €50.9m to the GGR, representing a 15.9% rise, while banked games, excluding poker and bingo, accounted for the remaining €14m.
In a surprising turn, non-banked games, including poker tournaments and bingo, reported a GGR of €998,490, indicating a substantial yearly increase of 50.3%.
Responsible Gaming: A Growing Concern
The Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ) also reported a concerning trend: as of 31 March 2023, there were 166,300 players on the Portuguese self-exclusion list. This is an issue that requires industry attention to ensure responsible and sustainable gaming practices.
In conclusion, Portugal’s iGaming sector has demonstrated promising growth with a blend of online and land-based activities. As the industry evolves, maintaining a balance between growth and responsible gaming will be a pivotal challenge for both regulators and providers alike.