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Revenue in Portugal’s online betting and gaming market shot up by 24.8% year-on-year in Q1 2023, reaching a quarterly record of €196.4m.

That’s according to the latest figures published by local regulator the Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ).

Below, iGaming NEXT breaks down key figures from the regulator’s Q1 2023 online gambling report.

Revenue breakdown

Revenue for both sports betting and online gaming increased in Q1, though casino gaming was responsible for the lion’s share of growth as GGR from the vertical grew 38.9% to €110.7m.

Betting revenue, meanwhile, increased by a more modest 10.3% to €85.7m.

The figures from Q1 continued a relatively rapid growth path in Portugal’s online market in recent years, with total online revenue increasing more than fourfold between Q1 2019 (€47.4m) and Q1 2023 (€196.4m).

As a result of the increased revenue in the latest quarter, operators paid €63.1m in gaming taxes to the Portuguese government, an increase of 26.7% over the prior-year period.

As of Q1, the market consisted of 16 licensed entities holding a total of 28 licences – 16 for online gaming and 12 for sports betting.

Betting versus gaming

Looking more closely at the split between online betting and gaming, the volume of bets placed was shown to be overwhelmingly in favour of gaming.

In that vertical, players staked a total of €2.98bn during the quarter, an increase of 24.6% year-on-year.

In betting, meanwhile, handle reached €441.4m in Q1, up 19.5% from Q1 2022.

Breaking down each vertical into more detail, the SRIJ reported that 70.6% of all sports bets had been placed on football, with 13.4% bet on tennis and 11.6% on basketball. Just 4.4% of bets were placed on other sports.

Within football betting, the most popular betting market was Portugal’s Primeira Liga, which accounted for 12.3% of all football bets. 

The English Premier League, Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga were the next most popular leagues for betting, accounting for 8%, 7.6% and 7.5% of all football bets, respectively.

In the online gaming vertical, slot games attracted the vast majority of bets at 81%. Roulette accounted for a further 8.2% of gaming handle, while blackjack and Portuguese casino game “French Bank” brought in a further 5.4% and 2.5% of gaming handle, respectively.

Cash poker games accounted for a further 1.7% of handle while tournament-style poker brought in the remaining 1.1%.

Player numbers and demographics

In Q1, 237,300 new gambling accounts were registered in Portugal, bringing the total number of accounts in the country to 3.7m, after including the cancellation of 75,100 existing accounts.

That represented growth of 4.6% on the previous quarter and an increase of 21.1% year-on-year.

By age, the most significant demographic of players was those between 25 and 34 years old, who together accounted for 36.2% of all accounts.

Those aged between 18 and 24 held a further 23.3% of all accounts, with customers aged between 35 and 44 holding 23% of accounts.

Players between 45 and 54 years old held 12.1% of accounts, those between 55 and 64 held 3.9% of accounts, while those aged 65 and over held just 1.5% of the total registered accounts in the country.

Of all the player accounts registered in the country, 31.7% took part in sports betting only, while 29.7% exclusively played online casino games.

The largest cohort, however, at 38.5%, took part in both sports betting and online casino games.

As of the end of Q1, 166,200 accounts had self-excluded from gambling, representing around 4.5% of the total number of accounts registered in the country.

That figure has increased rapidly over the past year, with the number of self-exclusions up 39.8% compared to the 118,900 reported in Q1 2022.

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