Online Poker Becomes Portugal’s Second Biggest iGaming Sector

One of Europe’s developing markets is the controlled online poker market of Portugal. Novel gambling standards were enforced in the warm Southern European nation last spring, one of which is the authorization of provision of approved online poker services.


The nation’s controlled online poker industry was officially organised in late November 2016. The launch took place after chief operator PokerStars was provided a license by the local gambling operator, Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ). PokerStars streamed live via its .pt site in early December and has until now stayed the only operator to be offering online poker facilities in the growing market.

Development of Portugal’s iGaming Market

SRIJ has lately notified its first inclusive account on the advancement of iGaming market of Portugal regarding its initial ten months of its survival. The report contained monetary data as well as data regarding the manner each of the regulated online betting parts has altered in the inspected term to March 31, 2017.
As stated by SRIJ, the total of €82.2 million was produced in profit ever since the primary sports betting license was offered to Betclic on May 25, 2016. Sports betting was actually the biggest grossing division amid the stated ten months, demanding 70% of the industry.

Casino games, online poker also contained, produced the complete sum of €25.1 million in profit in the months between July 25, 2016, and March 31, 2017. On July 25, 2016, primary casino license was delivered to the local operator Estoril Sol Digital, Online Gaming Products and Services, S.A.

According to SRIJ’s account, profit from online poker depicted 32.72% of the web casino amount. Hence, the division turned into the second biggest in Portugal’s online casino industry, following online slot machines, which measured for roughly 34% of the total.

Alternatively stated, PokerStars produced a complete of €8.2 million between early-December 2016 and late-March 2017 and handled to evolve into a chief player in the local industry in a comparatively short period.

Primary information displayed that PokerStars has started its Portuguese site with a huge success. The number of cash game players was 2,000 approximately during the initial days of service of the website. Afterward, traffic rates had diminished, just as predicted, but the major concern here is the fact that there is interest evidently for online poker in the nation.

Currently, PokerScout traffic statistics display that there are around 30,397 players online on the PokerStars’ .pt site. Of 30,397 players, 49 are involved in playing cash games.

Ring-Fenced Poker Industry

The poker industry of Portugal is ring-fenced, which signifies that the local players are restricted to take part in global player pools. Similar to the poker market of Portugal, the poker markets of France, Italy, and Spain are also ring-faced. Ring-fencing was an extensively debated subject last year because it was up to SRIJ to resolve if it would set such restrictions to its freshly controlled market.

The regulator ultimately resolved in support of the move, regardless of the judgments from local players as well as linked parties. Though, the online poker surrounding in Portugal and in the nations like France, Italy and Spain may likely alter as their corresponding regulatory bodies are presently in the operation of bargaining shared liquidity arrangements. The shared liquidity agreements are expected to improve poker activity in these countries. It is expected that the shared liquidity agreements will be endorsed by the end of June, 2017 and poker network will be built in late 2017 or early 2018, which will possess the connected player pools of the four nations.

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