Casino revenues in Portugal rise 10 pct in first quarter

21 April 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 21 April – Revenue at Portuguese casinos rose by 10.6 percent in the first quarter of 2006, against the same year-ago period, to 83 million euros, thus changing eth downward trend that had been felt over the last few quarters, figures from Portugal’s Gaming general-Inspectorate showed Thursday.

The figures, quoted by Portuguese financial daily Diário Económico showed that Portuguese gaming rooms, which now total nine after the inauguration of the Lisbon casino by Estoril Sol, mainly benefited from a 45 percent increase from banker games to 13.2 million euros.

This increase is due to recent legal authorization which allowed the setting up of mixed gaming rooms, where banker games can be played alongside smaller bets and where the identification of the player is no longer necessary.

Revenue form slot machines, the most popular type of gambling in Portuguese casinos, increased by around 6 percent to 69,.2 million euros in the period.

Concession-holder such as Estoril Sol and Solverde have invested in the introduction of new automatic machines which can now be used with a bank card.

Estoril Sol’s new casino, inaugurated Wednesday night in Lisbon, with the presence of its biggest shareholder, Stanley Ho, this year is expected to post 70 million euros in turnover.

This year, Casino Estoril, Europe’s largest casino is expected to post turnover of some 105 million euros, around 20 percent below the figure for last year, as it will be affected by the new casino in Lisbon, as Estoril Sol’s chairman told Macauhub recently. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH