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Portugal’s high tax a hindrance to gambling market’s growth?

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Photo credits: https://calvinayre.com
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The tax regime imposed by Portugal’s three-year-old gambling law seems to be a hindrance for new gambling companies. As per the law, remote gambling operators need to get a license from the country’s gambling regulator Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ). How many operators obtained license in the last two years? Zero.

The first company to get the license under the new law was Betclic, owned by the French gambling group Betclic Everest Group, back in May 2016. The license was for sports betting. Eleven more licenses followed, three for sports betting, and eight for online casino and poker.

 

The tax regime of Portugal’s market drew quite some criticism not just from the union but also from gambling industry stakeholders. The bone of contention is the decision of Portuguese lawmakers to tax online sports betting services on turnover and online casino games at a significantly higher rate on revenue than usually implemented in other European countries was met with strong negative reactions.

Industry stakeholders urged Portugal’s government to review its new gambling law and swap the tax regime for a more reasonable one. Lawmakers, in turn, said that a review of the effectiveness of the new regulations would only be conducted two years after the first license was granted.

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EurAsia

GR8 Tech Wins Best Online Sportsbook Provider 2024 at SiGMA Eurasia Awards

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GR8 Tech Wins Best Online Sportsbook Provider 2024 at SiGMA Eurasia Awards
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GR8 Tech was named the Best Online Sportsbook Provider 2024 at the SiGMA Eurasia Awards ceremony on February 26, highlighting the company’s leadership in the online sportsbook market.

The prestigious award reflects GR8 Tech’s effective strategy and successful delivery of superior financial results for operators in a competitive landscape. Tailored for the evolving needs of the sportsbook industry, the GR8 Sportsbook platform enables operators to achieve and maintain profitable margins quickly, balancing user engagement and earning.

“This award from SiGMA marks an important milestone for GR8 Sportsbook, reinforcing its long-standing market presence and stellar reputation with fresh recognition from the industry. We at GR8 Tech are thrilled to receive this confirmation of our sports betting product value and will continue to develop it and shake up the landscape as the Best Online Sportsbook Provider 2024,” commented Oleksandr Feshchenko, GR8 Tech CRO.

In addition to the SiGMA Eurasia win, GR8 Tech has recently been shortlisted for Best Online Sportsbook Provider and Best Marketing Campaign categories at the SiGMA Africa Awards.

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Interviews

From Esports to Emerging Markets: Deep Dive into Sports Betting Trends 24’ with Alexander Kamenetskyi

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From Esports to Emerging Markets: Deep Dive into Sports Betting Trends 24’ with Alexander Kamenetskyi
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As each new year begins, there is a growing interest in anticipating the trends that will shape the months ahead. Could you provide insights into the sports betting trends that are expected to be relevant in 2024?

Our SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team has reflected on the past year and observed that the sports betting landscape largely maintains its trajectory, with several key trends that the industry is already familiar with.

Firstly, esports is set to continue its solid rise within sports betting. Over the past few years, esports has steadily climbed the ranks, with games like Counter-Strike gaining significant traction among bettors. With projections indicating a substantial increase in viewership, reaching an estimated 640 million viewers by 2025, according to reports from Newzoo, esports presents a lucrative opportunity for operators to tap into.

Additionally, the dominance of mobile betting is expected to persist, with mobile devices driving the majority of operator gross gaming revenue (GGR). This trend underscores a preference for convenience, particularly in live betting scenarios. That is why we continually enhance our mobile applications and websites to cater to evolving consumer demands.

Also, with the emergence of newly regulated markets, operators are prioritising certification and compliance to ensure the integrity of their offerings. This includes obtaining certifications such as GLI-33 and licences such as MGA, which the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook received last year.

Overall, the sports betting trends in 2024 underscore the importance of adaptability and innovation. Operators must navigate an increasingly dynamic landscape driven by technological advancements and regulatory changes.

 

You have named a few trends that seem relevant for both casinos and betting projects. Does this mean that both types of projects should focus on the same aspects?

Yes and no. While the iGaming market shares common trends like regulations, each area has specific considerations. I would mention one interesting point between sports betting and casino betting. 

Last year, analysing the results of the FIFA World Cup and talking with our partners, I found out that there was a 10–20% drop in online casino betting turnover during this sports event. This shows that even casino-only projects have at least 10% of players interested in sports. In practice, it means that during every major sporting event, a casino will more likely lose a minimum of 10% of its turnover. That does not sound nice. 

That is why adding sports betting opportunities to online casinos would be a great option, especially since it’s now possible to give players a seamless experience. And I am talking not only about the SOFTSWISS Casino Platform. Our Sportsbook can be easily integrated with every casino platform on the market. 

We have cases when casino projects not only opened a sportsbook but also migrated to our sports betting platform. By the way, promoting sportsbooks is much easier than casinos, as sports events help a lot. Also, player conversion in sports betting is many times higher because, in my opinion, it is more socially accepted.

 

What do you mean by seamless experience?

A player simply sees no barriers moving from casino to sportsbook. In most cases, it looks like an additional tab on the website. The most convenient thing is a seamless wallet. Players can use the money they deposited at the casino for their sportsbook activities. 

We make the experience seamless not only for players but also for our partners. Our suite of products offers operators a comprehensive range of solutions, including Affilka, the Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator, the Jackpot Aggregator, and a payment gateway. These products are designed to integrate with each other, creating a cohesive ecosystem.

 

Going back to trends and predictions for this year, which markets would you say are the most promising?

In our market focus, we are looking closely at Latin America, especially Brazil, and Africa, with a specific eye on South Africa and Nigeria. These regions offer exciting growth opportunities, and our strategy is geared towards unlocking their potential to better cater to the unique needs of these markets.

This year, SOFTSWISS has already acquired a majority stake in Turfsport, a leading South African provider of multichannel wagering software for sports, horse racing, and lotto. It helped us officially enter the African market and extend our product portfolio.

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Australia

PointsBet Appoints Daniel Lucas as Group Chief Technology Officer

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PointsBet Holdings Limited announced the appointment of Daniel Lucas as Group Chief Technology Officer (CTO), effective 1 September 2024. Daniel will replace current Group CTO, US-based Jerry Bowskill, who will step down following completion of the sale of the US Business to Fanatics Betting and Gaming.

Daniel is serving out his current role as Global Director of Trading Technology at Flutter Entertainment Plc, leading the global trading technology operation and service across the Flutter Group (including Fanduel, Sportsbet, Paddypower, Betfair, Pokerstars and Skybet). Currently based in the UK, Daniel will relocate to Melbourne to take up his new role.

Prior to his global role at Flutter, Daniel held several senior positions at Sportsbet based in Melbourne, including Head of Data Solutions and Head of Trading Technology, which followed roles in the investment banking sector in London.

Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) and a Master of Business Systems from Monash University.

Sam Swanell, Chief Executive Officer of the PointsBet Group, said: “We are very pleased that a Senior Executive of Dan’s quality and experience is joining PointsBet. Dan’s understanding of complex platform and trading operations, in particular algorithmic trading, risk and advanced analytics together with his strong people leadership skills, are valuable assets to PointsBet’s Australian and Canadian operations, as we continue to invest in our market leading live betting and multi capability through Odds Factory.”

“I am super excited about the opportunity to join a technology and product led company like PointsBet. They continue to invest in their platforms and there are exciting growth opportunities ahead,” Daniel Lucas said.

“Jerry Bowskill has made an outstanding contribution to PointsBet over his tenure leading our global technology organisation. He has been an integral part of the group executive leadership team, and his experience and expertise has proven invaluable as we have planned for and executed the transition of our United States business to Fanatics. I would like to thank Jerry for all he has done for PointsBet and wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” Sam Swanell said.

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