Portugal has issued the ninth online gambling website under recently released laws, despite an underwhelming uptake for foreign entrants.
According to the Portugal regulatory body, Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ), online license number nine has been issued to Sociedade Figueira Praia, a Portugal-licensed operating casino games under the Casino Portugal brand.
The chairman of the company’s parent, Amorim Turismo, called the expansion into online casino gambling a “consolidation of the growth” achieve in the early months of sports betting.
The preceding eight licenses issued in Portugal are shared between four companies: Betclic Everest Group, BET Entertainment Technologies and Estoril Sol, each operating sports betting and casino sites. One online poker licence has been issued, to PokerStars, despite the worldwide success of this game online.
Portugal’s regulated online market was launched in June 2016 with early uptake and revenue soon giving way to lacklustre sale and declining quarterly revenue for the three months to the end of June, 2017.
PokerStars happily maintains a monopoly but other operators have experienced a significant tax on turnover which is making them think twice about staying in the market.
Land-based casino operators in Portugal are performing better with casino operators reporting a €75 million surplus for Q2, up 6.7% from the same period in 2016.
The growth figures will not continue if operators leave, which would not only remove their tax contributions, but discourage other operators from entering the market.
Whether Portugal’s government will develop a more operator-friendly taxation and regulatory model, remains to be seen but if nothing changes, the optimistic forecasts are destined to dwindle.
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