888poker Looking to Recoup Losses with Portuguese Platform

July 5th, 2019 | by Greg Shaun

888poker will attempt to reverse its recent downswing by moving into Southern Europe and Portugal.

888poker Portugal

888poker has gone live in Portugal and will now share players with its Spanish site. (Image: 888poker)

By opening up dot.pt platform, 888poker will become the second operator to go live in the recently regulated market.

Moreover, the new site will complement 888casino which went launched in Portugal back in January 2019.

Sharing Sees Activity Surge in Southern Europe

By following PokerStars into Portugal, the London Stock Exchange listed company will share players with its Spanish platform.

This ability to merge Spanish and Portuguese playerpools comes courtesy of a liquidity sharing pact between four Southern European countries.

Coming into effect at the start of 2018, the agreement means approved operators can link players between their French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian sites.

In order to be approved, an operator must be licensed in both countries and comply with the cross-border operating conditions. Although part of the pact, Italy has yet to finalize its liquidity sharing rules.

However, in the interim, PokerStars has enjoyed success in France, Spain and Portugal. No doubt buoyed by interest in events such as SECOOP, 888poker will be hoping its new license boosts business.

According to the company’s latest revenue report, online poker is suffering. Despite sports and casino gaming growing, 888’s poker network experienced a 28 percent drops in earnings during the first five months of 2019.

Another Opportunity for 888poker

Although Portugal isn’t the largest online poker market in Europe, it is gaining momentum. According to regulator Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ), online gaming’s Q1 profits for 2019 were up 43.8 percent year-on-year.

What’s more, the Portuguese poker market forms part of a much a larger puzzle. By joining Spain and Portugal, 888poker now only needs to bring France into the mix to have a strong grip on the Southern European region.

As PokerStars has shown, shared liquidity makes it possible to offer bigger prizepools. The end result, in theory, is more traffic across all connected platforms.

While it may be some time before 888poker completes the trifecta, it’s on the right path. Indeed, if it can use its position as only the second operator to gain a license in Portugal, overcoming a 28 percent downswing may be possible.


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