More than two years ago we reported here about the imminent ban on online gambling in Portugal and Sweden. However, as it became known a few weeks ago, people in Portugal spent a record amount on online gambling in the past first quarter of 2022. Indeed, from January to March 2022, the Portuguese lost a total of 158.6 million euros in online gambling. Compared to the previous year, this corresponds to an increase of an impressive 12.4%. At least that is what the current statistics from the responsible gaming authority Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRJI) show.
People in Portugal gamble 1.7 million euros every day
A little over 10.3 million people currently live in Portugal. With 158.6 million euros lost by the entire population in one quarter, this results in a daily loss of almost 1.7 million euros. Or to put it another way: Statistically speaking, every Portuguese gambles away an amount of 0.16 euros every day.
For comparison: In Ireland, every adult citizen loses an average of 300 euros a year when gambling. This corresponds to a daily loss of over 0.83 euros. However, the two numbers don’t compare very well, as Irish statistics only take into account people over the age of 18 and all gambling and not just online gambling. Almost exactly a year ago we wrote an article asking ourselves whether the Irish have a gambling problem.
Portugal has already issued 26 online gambling licenses
In the meantime, the southern European EU state of Portugal has already issued 26 official licenses for online gambling. 15 licenses are casino licenses and the remaining 11 licenses are sports betting licenses. Of course, since the liberalization of the online gambling market, sales have also increased rapidly. For this reason, higher player losses are also expected in the future. We already reported on the gaming license business in Greece in June last year.
Sales have been increasing rapidly since the corona pandemic
Sales of licensed online gambling in Portugal have been increasing rapidly since the beginning of the global corona pandemic. In the first half of 2020 alone, the responsible authority recorded an increase in sales of over 44% to 138.9 million euros. The sales of online casinos and online betting providers have risen particularly sharply. The main reason for this was probably the long and strict lockdowns in Portugal. For months, as in many other countries, arcades and betting shops were also affected by forced closures.
In the first quarter of 2022, every Portuguese lost an average of 0.16 euros a day when gambling online. This corresponds to a loss of around EUR 4.80 per month per Portuguese inhabitant. Overall, people in Portugal lost almost 160 million euros online gambling from January to March 2022 – and the trend is rising.