Portugal sees record online gambling revenue for H1

Online GGR hit €138.9m  for the first half of 2020.
Online GGR hit €138.9m for the first half of 2020.

Online GGR for the first half increased 44.2% year-on-year according to the Portuguese regulator.

Portugal.- Online gambling brought in a half-year record of €138.9million in GGR, an increase of 44.2 per cent on the same period last year, according to figures from the regulator, Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ).

Online gambling had already overtaken retail for the first time in Q1.

Online casino revenue for H1 rocketed 74.1 per cent to €83.7million, while sports betting revenue also climbed, up 15.9 per cent year-on-year to €55.2million.

Total stakes climbed 62.5 per cent to €2.53billion, with online casino stakes increasing to €2.29billion, roughly in line with revenue, and sports betting stakes falling 1.5 per cent to €239.9million.

The figures for the end of the first half suggest that the boom in online gaming may be short-lived, with signs that numbers were beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels in June.

Sports betting stakes were highest in January and February before falling from March onwards due to the cancellation of sporting events due to the pandemic, and recovering close to pre-pandemic levels in June.

Online casino stakes climbed from €286.5million in February to a monthly record of €479.3million in April and €468.3million in May, before falling back to €371.9million in June.

Online poker accounted for a larger share of online casino revenue in April and May, but its percentage share has since returned to pre-pandemic levels.

The SRIJ said: “We can conclude that the closure of the casinos contributed to a significant increase in the respective volume of online gambling, which gradually stabilised, approaching the values ​​prior to the Covid-19 pandemic 

“This reality seems to indicate a preference of the players to bet in a regulated and controlled environment, because even though they are ‘used’ to frequenting physical spaces to play, they chose, instead, to play on legal online sites.

“The increase in the volume of bets on online games of chance was observed in all types of games, keeping the relative weight of each game stable over the period.”

Although revenue grew, there appears to have been no corresponding increase in the number of new account registrations, with new accounts accounting for only 18 per cent of players in March and April.

Registrations climbed from 53,500 in January and 43,900 in February to 60,000 in March, but in April and May totalled 53,200 and 33,500 respectively.

The number of licensees able to offer casino games has climbed to 13, up from 10 in the same period last year. 

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