Casinos across the Portuguese landscape enjoyed a slight uptick in performance last year. Compared to figures from 2017, the casino industry in the country saw an increase of 3.1% in revenue, taking in over €318 million (almost $363 million) more than a year prior.
The country’s leading casino operator, Estoril-Sol, continued to dominate. The company, which is controlled by casino mogul Stanley Ho, operates casinos in Lisbon, Estoril and Povoa de Varzim and reported annual turnover of just under €196.8 million ($224.55m). This was a residual increase of 2.4% year-on-year.
While not being the recipient of the most revenue, the Solverde Group reported the highest increase. The company, which owns casinos in Algarve, Chaves and Espinho, had revenue of €93.6 million, which amounts to an increase of 4.8% over the prior year’s numbers.
With the exception of the Pestana Group, operator of The Pestana Casino Park located in Funchal Madeira, all operators stated that their income increased from 2017 to 2018. The Pestana Group saw its revenue drop 3.1% year-on-year to €8.4 million ($9.58m).
The biggest gambling sector was the slot machine market, which increased 3.4% and accounted for revenue of €263.9 million ($301.1m) for the casinos.
The upswings are made even more significant when considering that there is now more gambling competition in the country. Online gaming, instant-win games and lotteries, such as the EuroMillions, are gaining in popularity, but haven’t seemed to hurt the casino industry.
However, the president of Solverde, Manuel Violas, told the Portuguese media outlet Diario de Noticias that 2018 was just a “reasonable year” for the industry.
Estoril-Sol controlled the largest percentage of market share. Its Estoril operations generated €64 million ($73.02m) in revenue – an increase of 0.5% over 2017 – and revenue at its Lisbon casino jumped 3.4% to €86.7 million ($98.92m). Its third casino, in Povoa de Varzim, reported a 3% increase in revenue, reaching €45.9 million ($52.37m).
Online gambling is improving as well. The Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (Gambling Regulation and Inspection Service, SRIJ) reports that online gambling gross revenue for the second quarter increased by €12 million ($13.69m) to €37.3 million ($42.55m) year-on-year. Taxes from gaming revenue were €16.9 million, an increase of €3.6 million ($4.1m) between the same periods.