Portugal’s online gambling industry saw massive growth as revenues reach record levels despite the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus.
The Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ) revealed that the industry’s gambling revenue accumulated €138.9m in the first half of the year.
Online gambling in many countries saw growth amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic. Imposed lockdowns shut down operations of all land-based gambling facilities and restricted people from traveling. People were trapped in their homes, and the internet was their only source of entertainment.
Online gambling operators reported a massive increase in demand during the lockdowns because of the absence of land-based casinos. The industry is expanding its influence worldwide as countries move to legalize online gambling. Governments seek an alternative source of revenue, which paved the way for the legalization of the industry.
Portuguese see the growth of revenue
During the first six months of the year, the revenue in sports betting surged by 15.9 percent, to €55.2 million, compared to last year. The income from online casinos increased from 741 percent to €83.7 million. The €138.9 million revenue was taken from the total €253 billion worth of wagers, an increase of 625 percent year-on-year.
However, the total amount of wagers declined by 1.5 percent to €239.9 million despite the growth in revenue. The total bets increased to €2.29 billion.
The SRIJ concluded that the closure of the land-based gambling facilities contributed to a significant rise in the volume of online gambling. The regulating body found that the figures are gradually returning to its pre-novel coronavirus levels.
The regulator also revealed that gamblers prefer playing in legal online gambling sites. Gamblers preferred regulated and controlled gambling environment. The report indicated that the stakes for sports betting in the second quarter of the year reached €90.7millon while casinos collected a total of €1.32 billion from wagers.
Stakes in sports betting and casinos
The regulator’s report revealed that the stakes in sports betting reached its peak before the lockdowns were imposed. In January and February, stakes reached €61.7 million and €56.7 million, respectively.
It was revealed in the report that stakes in football increased from 71.7 percent during the first month of the year to 86.3 percent in June. Tennis was the second most popular sport for betting. In May, the stakes increased, making up to 22.7 percent of the total wagers before declining to 9.4 percent at the end of the first half.
Basketball followed, but regulators expect a much lower stake in the second quarter of the year.
The NBA was suspended during the lockdowns, and the games resumed in July. Casino games collected total stakes of €304.9 million in January and €286.5 million in February before surging during the lockdowns.
Figures increased to €381.8 million during April and continued rising to €479.3 in May. The stakes dropped to €371.9 million in June.
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