The revenue from online gambling in Portugal is surging. This industry was regulated just two years ago, and it’s quickly growing into one of the hottest new markets in Europe. How long this spike in earnings will continue for remains to be seen.
A number of the most popular online gambling sites in the world have been issued a license to operate here. Let’s take a look at the rise of Portugal’s igaming industry, and talk about what to expect in the future.
Portugal hadn’t taken any steps to begin legalizing and monitoring its internet gambling industry until fairly recently. In 2015, the government here passed legislation to allow foreign gambling sites to operate in the country. This legislation was heavily criticized for its massive tax rate of 30%.
In May of 2016, the online gambling market was up and running. Sports betting revenue began to surge, partly due to the European Championship. Despite the substantial number of bettors, many of the gambling sites here threatened to leave over the tax rates.
By 2017, online gambling in Portugal was in trouble. More people in this country began making their wagers through unlicensed online gambling sites in Europe. Revenue began to plummet and the government took notice.
Things took a massive turn in 2018. It’s not entirely clear why, yet the regulated gambling market grew by an incredible 24% from the year before. Both casino and sports gambling are at an all-time high here.
19 online gambling licenses have been provided in Portugal. There are a number of different online gaming operators now available here, including 888casino. Overall, sports betting made up the biggest slice of the revenue pie last year.
Sports betting revenue amounted to €78.9 million in 2018. Most analysts credit the 2018 FIFA World Cup for this increase. According to multiple reports, World Cup betting made up 74.4% of all sports bets last year.
Online casino gambling was also extremely popular in Portugal last year. This market generated €54.4 million. This revenue marks a 34% increase from the year before.
The fourth quarter of 2018 proved to be most successful in terms of online gambling in Portugal. Online casino gambling increased by 18% during this time. For many people, this indicates that the market here will flourish in 2019.
It remains to be seen whether or not this market will continue to grow this year. By the end of 2018, more than 35,000 Portuguese citizens decided to self-exclude themselves from online gambling. Gambling operators here cannot target these citizens in their advertisements.
Many people here are still choosing to make their online bets through unregulated websites. Portugal still implements some of the highest gambling tax rates of any country. Unlike many countries, Portugal taxes on gambling turnover, as opposed to revenue.
The high tax rates if forcing many legal sites here to offer worse odds for players. It’s impossible for these companies to compete with unregulated sites without offering odds that favor their chances.
Online gambling in Portugal was booming in 2018. Perhaps that will push the government here to begin lowering tax rates. If not, the industry here could be in trouble.
Do you think Portugal’s internet gambling industry will succeed in 2019? Will the government here finally lower tax rates? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.
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