Portugal’s top online gambling body has called for action against illegal operators.
The Portuguese Association of Online Gambling (APAJO) has asked for the authorities to block unlicensed betting companies following the results of a new survey.
The survey, which APAJO commissioned, found that 56% of gamblers were still using illegal sites three years after online gambling was legalised. The survey found that 6% of gamblers were only using illegal sites, while 44% exclusively used legal operators. And of customers who registered with sites in the first half of 2019, only 70% signed up for legal sites only.
Speaking about the findings, the President of APAJO, Gabino Oliveira, said he was pleased to see the growth of the licensed market, but that the government needed to crack down on illegal sites:
“The way to go in combating illegal gambling, beyond supervision, is through effective control and blocking of payments that are made on illegal websites. This is a growing trend in other countries that in Portugal must be properly considered and implemented by the competent entities.”
The survey, carried out by Aximage, spoke to over 600 people registered with betting sites. It found that 94% had gambled for real money in 2019. Nearly two-thirds of those who replied said that they preferred licensed sites as they offered the best security.
The survey also showed that 42% of registrations dated back to before the legalisation of online gambling in 2016, and that 62.5% of gamblers spend less than €50 per month on legal sites.
The findings come at a time when the Portugal gambling market is thriving. It set a new revenue record in Q2 of 2019, generating €48.3 million. And, the mid-year figure for revenue in 2019 was bigger than the revenue earned in the whole of 2018.