Online Gamblers Fall in Portugal but More Choosing Locally-Licensed Sites

Online gamblers in Portugal are fewer than the last year. Well, this sounds like a reverse trajectory in 2020. Online gambling has boomed this year due to the lockdown and people were confined to their homes. However, people are patronizing locally licensed sites more than before.

The Portuguese Association of Online Betting and Games (APAJO) released results of a new survey conducted by the pollsters Aximage on gambling habits. It was conducted back in August this year.

There were 601 registered online gamblers in the survey, out of that 501 were male and the majority of the gamblers were between 18 to 34 years of age.

The survey found that 82.9% of respondents have gambled online in 2020 down from 93.6% in 2019. However, respondents who gambled only on Portuguese licensed sites increased to 45.2%, from 44% last year. People who favored international sites dropped by 0.4 points to 5.6%. People who have enjoyed both the options fell down by 0.8 points to 49.2%.

Almost 92.8% claimed to discern between operators who hold a local license and who don’t. Most of the people who choose only locally-licensed operators did it for security reasons, almost 71.5%, up by 7.5 points. However, people favored international sites for better business, odds, and broader product range.

Nearly half (49.4%) of respondents reported no change in gambling behavior during the pandemic. Out of the total respondents, 10.6% said they spent more and 3.6% said they spent less. Almost 13.6% said they would explore more online products during online gambling products as major leagues were shut.

The stats from Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ), regulatory body, showed an uptick of online activity at the beginning of lockdown, only to recede by the end of June.

The online sports betting market is generally savaged due to high tax rates on wagering turnover. The online casino taxes were raised by 25% of the revenue. However, it has not deterred the operators from seeking new licenses.

The land-based casinos continue to struggle in Portugal however. Casinos were shut down since mid-march. However, it reopened in June installing health and safety concerns. The casinos were forced to shut down before 11 PM.

The government is also mulling an extension to the concession belonging to casinos in Estoril, Lisbon, and Figueira da Foz regions until 2023. It is scheduled to expire on December 31st. The government is also mulling over waiver of the contracted minimum payment casinos that are required to make the state regardless of revenue generation.

In the first nine months of 2020, the 11 casinos of Portugal generated revenue of €122mn, down by 48% for the same period last year.


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