From strength to strength, Ivo Doroteia, CEO of Sportingtech, looks at the growing prominence of Portugal’s betting market
Ivo Doroteia, CEO of Sportingtech, looks at the growing prominence of Portugal’s betting market and the country’s prospects for becoming an established presence in Europe
The Portuguese market is one that has often operated in the shadow of its neighbor, Spain. With good reason: a much larger country, it possesses a player base that dwarfs Portugal’s and has always historically been further ahead in terms of regulating online gambling.
Prospects for a narrowing of the gap between the two came following the introduction of a regulated online framework in 2015, though optimism for positive change in Portugal was initially met with skepticism in equal measure. The naysayers were inevitably proved wrong; today, market growth is clear to see, with several high-profile operators performing well in the region, even in comparison to other, much larger European countries.
From my perspective, this was expected – Portugal’s land-based industry has always been robust, with bricks-and-mortar casinos consistently displaying good numbers for the likes of lottery and bingo, and the renaissance of sports betting is just another string to the market’s bow.
These past 18 months have seen a dramatic shift in fortunes for the Portuguese market – figures from Q4 2020 onwards show strong growth for gambling in the country, with sports betting leading the charge. The growth can be attributed to a number of factors, including Covid-induced lockdowns benefiting the shift from land-based to online and a changing of fiscal policies in 2020 removing the higher rates of tax for betting and gaming.
Whatever the cause, it is clear today that the presence of top-tier industry players now makes Portugal an extremely attractive proposition indeed, and no one is better positioned to take advantage of this fact than Sportingtech, with its extensive knowledge of the market and varied range of leading sports betting platforms.
Portugal is a country with sports at its heart, and now it has an effective means to bet on it. Questions have been raised about the long-term viability of this growth, some suggesting that a post-lockdown world will revert to type, with land-based betting once again taking precedent.
I disagree with this sentiment – the ingredients for sustained success are very much present in Portugal and I see no reason to suggest that this market will be anything other than a bastion for sports betting on the worldwide stage. The difficult battle, acquisition, has already been won – retention is now the market’s key directive. Sportingtech’s Quantum platform is expertly placed to assist in this – Quantum Power, for instance, is designed to improve and boost both player acquisition and retention and is a fully localized product, featuring open APIs for full integration and customization.
The sharp increase in numbers will level out in time, but this is to be expected. What the market must do to future-proof the progress it has made is provide stability with robust and scalable platforms. This, combined with high-quality content and good UI/UX, will provide a workable framework for a continuation of current trends. This would, in turn, attract even more tier-one operators who, once established with a tried-and-true platform like Quantum, could fuel the second wave of growth.
Online gambling in Portugal has now established itself, and emphatically so. While proceeding with caution, the market must take constructive steps to solidify its position as a potential cornerstone of the European industry. Putting faith in the platforms that have already proved they are worthy of fuelling growth, such as Quantum, is one such step. The stage is set for this market to truly make its mark on the betting industry: underestimate it at your peril.
ULIS Elects New President and Executive Committee
ULIS has elected new President and Executive Committee for the 2023-2025 term during its General Meeting in Sibenik, Croatia, on June 6.
The new President, Gilles Maillet, brings a profound knowledge and expertise in the area of work carried out by ULIS. He has been Director of Sports Integrity at La Française des Jeux (FDJ), France, for almost six years, and a member of the ULIS Executive Committee for four.
In these combined roles, Gilles Maillet has actively contributed to ULIS development, broadening its collaboration with key sports and public stakeholders, at national and international levels, including among others, the Council of Europe, IOC, FIFA, Interpol, ITIA and UEFA.
Additionally, as a member of the French national Platform, working to combat the manipulation of competitions, FDJ has initiated preventative actions with several sports federations and clubs, which have been a source of inspiration for developing the awareness-raising strategy of ULIS, adapted to the context of each member country.
The Executive Committee (2023-2025)
Enhancing global expertise in lotteries and sports betting sector, the new committee comprises:
- Gilles Maillet (Chair), Director of Sports integrity, La Française des Jeux, France
- Stéphane Fraser (Vice-Chair), Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer of Gaming Establishments, Loto-Québec, Canada
- Chee Wend Lam, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Pools, Singapore
- Jens Nielsen, Sports Betting, Director, Danske Spil Denmark
- Younes El Mechrafi, Chief Executive Officer Marocaine des Jeux et des Sports (MDJS)
- Chris Lo, Head of Trading The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong, China
- Ales Vesely, Chief Executive Officer, SAZKA a.a. Czech Republic
- Lemeng Wang, Board Director China Sports Lottery Operation Co., Ltd, China.
BMM Testlabs Reports Robust Growth in CY 2022
BMM Testlabs has announced that its calendar year 2022 financial results surpassed all expectations and that momentum has continued into 2023.
Martin Storm, CEO of BMM Testlabs, said: “I am grateful for the hard work of our wonderful staff all around the world who grew all our businesses to record results.
“We enjoyed particularly strong growth across all regions where we added more than 100 new customers to an already substantial portfolio.
“Our digital business has flourished in Europe, Africa and the US over the last three years and our land-based business continues to grow with very large customers, extending our share in the US, Canada and Australia.
“While BMM dominates key international markets, it is reaching a tipping point in the US and European testing markets as gaming market access completes.”
Storm continued: “In CY2022, BMM’s TIC revenues grew 18.6 per cent year on year and EBITDA grew 37.7 per cent year on year, both to record levels.
“BMM’s global market reach and 15 international locations means we compete for nearly every gaming certification deal and we win a high percentage at appropriate margins.
“Continuing our momentum through Q1 2023, TTM revenues grew 19.8 per cent year on year and EBITDA grew 58.2 per cent year on year.
“We remain confident that BMM share will continue to grow as more customers migrate towards high quality testing and certification to lower their real product costs.
“We see the gaming test lab segment consolidating further as a direct response to our success and growth. Our new testlabs in Slovenia and India are operating exceedingly well and our new lab in Brazil is ready to go when legislation finally passes.
“Most importantly for me as the CEO, we have attracted exceptional leadership and continue to retain our most experienced and best staff. We are committed to transforming the gaming lab landscape over the next 18 months as we invest heavily in the TIC segment.”
XLMedia Partially Disposes Personal Finance Assets for $1.3 Million
XLMedia has announced the part disposal of the Group’s Personal Finance assets for a total cash consideration of $1.3 million (the Disposal). The Disposal comprises domains and websites including Investor Junkie, Greedy Rates and Young and Thifty owned by XLMedia Publishing Limited and Webpals Systems SC Limited, subsidiaries of XLMedia plc. The cash generated from the Disposal will be utilised in the day-to-day operations of the business.
The Disposal is in line with the Company’s strategy to exit non-core activities while focusing on the Group’s Sports and Gaming business, expanding its North American Sports footprint, while also refining and developing the Group’s EU Sports portfolio, and the Group’s Gaming assets in selected markets, including the US.
In the year ended 31 December 2022, the assets relating to the Personal Finance division generated revenues of $1.9 million and EBITDA loss of $1.3 million.
The Personal Finance assets were excluded from continuing operations as disclosed in the Company’s year ended 31 December 2022 results and have no impact on earnings in the current financial year.
Following the sale of these assets to MPD Media, the process to sell the remaining Personal Finance assets is at an advanced stage, but there is no certainty that a transaction or transactions will complete.
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