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Online gambling boom fuels addiction in Portugal

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Roughly 215,000 Portuguese have requested self-exclusion from online gambling platforms. By the end of 2023, this practice - which includes games and sports betting - captivates more than four million people in Portugal.

According to the Público newspaper, 215,000 people have asked to be excluded from this practice, of which nearly 192,000 have asked to be excluded indefinitely. This is an increase on the number of self-exclusions in 2022 and the third quarter of 2023.

More than 40% of the players are in the cities of Lisbon and Porto and 35% are aged between 25 and 34. However, the age group that has grown the most is 18 to 24 year olds, who now account for almost 33%.

Online gambling revenue in Portugal rose 16.4% year-on-year in Q4, reaching €227.4m. The number was up 5.6% against the previous quarter and makes for a sixth consecutive quarter of growth.

Online games generated €154.5m, up 40.7% compared to Q4 2022. Spending in this segment reached €3.84bn, a rise of 28.7%. Slots accounted for 83 % of this, French roulette 6.9 per cent and blackjack 4.7 per cent. The other contributors were dice games and poker.

Sports betting revenue continued to fall, dropping 14.8 per cent year-on-year to €72.8m. However, spending was up by 16 per cent at €532.1m, with football attracting 74.7 per cent of bets while basketball accounted 10.8 per cent.

The national gambling regulator SRIJ reported that the number of new online gambling accounts created in the quarter grew from 237,600 to 319,500. That took the total number of active accounts to 4.2 million. The number of self-excluded players rose by 63,200 to 215,000. Finally, the regulator said it had ordered 23 unlicensed gambling sites to stop targeting the market.

As for land-based gambling, revenue was €64.6m, down 3.9%. Slots generated €51.4m, down 3.5%, while casino and bingo games generated €13.7m, including €4.2m from American roulette, €3.6m from baccarat and €2.8m from blackjack.

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