Finance

World Cup leads to betting revenue increase in Portugal

revenue increase concept

Online casino gambling revenue in Portugal saw a significant increase this summer, thanks mainly to the effects of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

A report from the country’s gambling regulator the Servico Regulacao e Inspecao de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ) last week revealed that there had been a dramatic rise in online gambling revenue in the second quarter of the year, which ended on June 30.

The SRIJ reported that Portugal’s online casino sector showed a massive year on year increase of €5.4m to €16.8m, to which online slots gaming was the main contributor.

Sports betting revenue

In analysing the increase, the SRI attributed it to the impact of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Although the World Cup’s main effect was to drive an increase in sports betting-related revenue as people wagered on match outcomes, there was an associated rise in other gambling sectors including slots and both cash and tournament poker.

Many online casinos bring together both casino and sports betting functions, and it is believed that many of the new customers wagering on World Cup games may have tried their hand casino games, particularly in the quiet spells during or between matches.

In addition, a number of casino games are targeted directly at football fans, including William Hill’s 20P Shot, which features football-related symbols and national flags. The game was released to coincide with the start of the World Cup.

And it is likely that sports betting could drive similar increases in casino gambling revenue in future. Although the next World Cup in Qatar will not take place until 2022, there are a number of other tournaments that could produce a similar, if smaller effect, including the new look UEFA Nations League, and well-established competitions such as the Champions League. Many casino companies will have learned a lot from the success of their World Cup operations and will be eager to replicate the World Cup effect more often. 

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