From poker to esports, understand how online games are growing in Portugal

A long time ago, digital games stopped being mere entertainment and became a gigantic industry across the planet – and this is no different in Portugal.

Although the pandemic has accentuated the evolution, this process has been going on for a few years and this should be the trend for the next few decades: online games in various modalities are gaining more and more relevance among the Portuguese.

To understand a little bit More of this growth, we bring you a compilation of the current scenario of the main types of online games in Portugal, starting with the cards.

Online poker: Portuguese among the best

João Vieira is one of the aces in Portuguese online poker. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

One of the modalities that are standing out the most is online poker – considered a sport of the mind. Little by little, poker is moving away from the image of a game of chance and is consolidating itself as a game of strategy and decision-making that is gaining more and more fans across the planet.

The Portuguese are getting prominent role in online rankings. Today, there are 7 Portuguese players among the 26 best in the world, according to Pocket Fives, the main monitor of online poker on the planet. In Europe, Portugal is not behind any other country, being tied with the United Kingdom. In the world, only Brazil has more representatives in the top 85 – which means that Portugal is ahead of poker powers such as the United States and Russia.

Of these 7 players , the best is João Vieira, or “Naza282”, as it is known digitally. Considered one of the biggest names in European poker today, João is number 4 in the world online. Your digital earnings exceed the US$ mark 40 millions, with more than 337 titles in the digital scene.

Online casinos also have players jumping

Online games like slots are among the most sought after by the Portuguese. Photo: Reproduction
Apostas desportivas também viram febre nacional

Another modality that has always been “on the sidelines”, but which is beginning to gain more and more importance is the online casino and its various games offered, such as slots, blackjack, roulette and craps – all duly audited to avoid favors of any kind .

Online gambling in casinos had a boom after the country started to legalize internet activity through the Gaming Regulation and Inspection Service (SRIJ), a body linked to Tourism in Portugal. In addition to attracting large international operators, the regulation stimulated national companies in the sector that previously only invested in the territorial game, such as Solverde and Estoril.

Today, the market is highly competitive and with the number of players to grow – in the first quarter alone, around half a million new players were registered. To attract this new audience, the sites invest heavily in marketing strategies, from online casinos with very inviting welcome bonuses to advertising at sporting events and football clubs.

Sports betting too they turn into national fever

Another activity regulated by the Gaming Regulation and Inspection Service is sports betting at odds – after all, we are talking about a country in love with sports of all kinds, since the football to other sports such as tennis, basketball and motorsport.

Some numbers illustrate this growth well: according to SRIJ data, in the first 6 months of the year, there were more than 200 million euros from revenue for odds-players (outperforming online casinos), as it has been growing every quarter, as shown in the graph.

Equipas de esports com a FTW surgem aos montes em Portugal

jogos online: Casinos online também têm salto de jogadoresSource: Game Regulation and Inspection Service (SRIJ)

It is worth remembering that both odd sports betting and games of bad luck and fortune bring fruits to the Portuguese coffers, which justifies the regulation of the activity. In the first semester, Portugal raised more than 26 million euros with the Special Tax on Online Gaming (IEJO)

Esports: video game has become serious business

Esports teams with FTW appear in droves in Portugal. Photo: Disclosure

A few years ago, the term esports was unknown to the vast majority of Portuguese people. Today, however, the situation has changed: this is an area in enormous growth. After all, we are talking about the competitive scene of video games such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Fortnite, Overwatch, Call of Duty, FIFA, Street Fighter and many others – there is something for everyone.

Today, Portugal has more than 10 teams specialized in esports, such as FTW, which has teams specialized in more than modalities and represents the country in the main European and world championships. In addition, football clubs such as Porto and Benfica also invest in esports and have their own teams.

The most prominent player is Marcio Carvalho, ace of Magic: The Gathering Arena, runner-up world in 2000. Your online gaming billing already exceeds US$ 135 thousand. Other prominent names in the scenario are João Ferreira (Smite), Ricardo Pacheco (CS:GO), Diogo Pombo (FIFA) and Amadeu Carvalho (League of Legends).

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