Even though most of the industries were negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, some, like iGaming, benefited from the pandemic. The Portuguese gambling industry was one of the winners as it generated €139m, in 2020 a 44% rise from the previous year.
Most of the land-based casinos were closed and only allowed to resume operations under new social distancing rules and other health protocols. On the other hand, physical sporting activities were suspended and only resumed with new measures in place.
The casino gambling industry has been growing as well in 2021. What are some of the factors that have contributed to the growth? According to our expert, Victoria Oliveira (check profile), these are the factors that have contributed to the growth in Portugal:
Lenient online casino laws
Gambling is one of the areas that has brought loads of controversies over the years. Some countries are yet to legalize online gambling, but Portugal is among those that allow people to gamble online. The only thing that an online gambling platform requires is an operating license to offer its services to customers. Some of the entities tasked with regulating gambling in Portugal include the Lisbon Holy House of Mercy and the Gambling Regulation and Inspection Service.
Availability of free information online
Gone are the days when gamblers were seen as the black sheep in society. Different people now understand that gambling is a source of entertainment and a career for others. A simple Google search with keywords ‘online casinos in Portugal’ will return hundreds of results. However, some of these sites do not offer some of the best services, and you may end up losing your money and wasting your time. The availability of review websites makes it easy for internet users to land at the best sites. Portuguese players who want to play bingo can thus check bingo online reviews to make an informed decision.
It is estimated that about 84.5% of the population in Portugal had access to the internet by January 2021. Internet use increased a lot during the Covid-19 pandemic as more people started working from home and exploring new ways of making money online. Some of the Portuguese players who used to visit land-based casinos now had to explore online casinos. Boredom also forced some people who have never tried gambling to visit online platforms and develop new hobbies. Portugal is also one of the countries in the process of rolling out a 5g network, which will increase speeds tenfold.
Availability of mobile gaming
The number of smartphone users has been rising steadily in Portugal. There were 5.05 million smartphone users in Portugal in 2015, and the number is expected to be 6.51 million by 2022. The availability of affordable smartphones and internet penetration are some of the reasons for the growth in numbers. These gambling companies have also made their websites compatible with mobile devices to enable this online gambling technology. Portuguese players can also download various casino apps and games on their mobile devices and enjoy gaming on the go. Such players do not have to remember URLs or bookmark online gaming sites as long as they have mobile apps.
Marketing gambling products has always been a contentious issue. However, the number of adverts and promotions being conducted by online casinos is rising daily in Portugal and globally. Coming across a casino ad on various search engines and video streaming sites such as YouTube is very common. You are also likely to come across various bonuses and promotions that aim to attract new customers and retain the existing ones. There are also review websites that give unbiased opinions and group different casinos based on various features. However, online casinos must also ensure that they engage in ethical marketing practices.
Virtual reality is one of the technologies promising to change the casino gaming industry for the better. VR now allows players to create avatars, visit online gambling platforms virtually, and interact with other players. However, the players must wear VR headsets to make this a reality.
If the current trends are anything to go by, the online gambling industry will continue to grow. We expect to see more customer-centered products and technologies such as artificial intelligence helping the gaming companies understand customer behaviors better.