Can Cryptocurrency Boost the iGaming Market in Portugal?
The rise of online sports betting in the country pushed the iGaming market of Portugal to close Q4 2017 with higher revenues than the same time in the previous year.
Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ), the country’s regulation body, released its figures last Friday. The regulated gaming market in Portugal, which consists of seven licensed operators only, generated a combined total of €36.5 million in Q4 2017. This is €7 million higher than the amount in Q3 2017 and is €10 million more than the amount generated in Q4 2016.
Sports wagers are major contributors to Portugal’s gaming market. Total revenue of the market’s sportsbook reached €68.1 million in 2017 that accounted for 55.5 percent of the overall market revenue. About three-quarters of the sports revenue came from football wagers.
Slot bets are another big part of the total revenue generated. About 45 percent of the casino revenue comes from video slots. This is followed by poker cash games that account for 19.7 percent of the revenue while poker tournaments consist of only 6.7 percent.
Potential of Bitcoin Gaming Market in Portugal
Portugal may have the potential to be a significant market for Bitcoin gaming operators if cryptocurrencies are regulated in the country. The country’s banking and finance regulators have hinted that it is looking for a coordinated solution to regulate Bitcoin and all altcoins.
There are many brands that accept cryptocurrencies and players from Portugal. Brands like King Billy, NetBet, and OrientXpress Casino can satisfy the country’s appetite for sports betting as well as slots.
The State of Bitcoin in Portugal
Early in 2017, Portugal’s banks did not recognize Bitcoin as a legitimate currency and were wary of its volatility. Because of public demand, however, certain banks caved in and started offering services related to cryptocurrencies.
Hélder Rosalino, a board member of the Central Bank of Portugal, said cryptocurrencies are not real currencies. According to the Central Bank of Portugal, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is more of a computerized financial solution instead of a fiat currency.
“A currency, to be classified as such, needs to have two fundamental characteristics: The first is to associate with itself the idea of value reserve, then, on that currency there must be a right to credit. When a central bank creates a currency, it creates a liability on its balance sheet that has to be paid. If, one day, everyone was to hand that money over to their banks, then the central bank would have to be paid, and the liability would be eliminated. “
Despite the views of the country’s regulators, cryptocurrency transactions are high among Portuguese residents. When Banco Santander-Portugal blocked any Blockchain related trading activities with its customers, it received a petition that had more than 1,000 signatures of its customers. Some customers filed a complaint with the DECO, an organization that protects Portugal’s consumers. Banco Santander offered its cryptocurrency trading service again as a result of customer pressure.