Portugal - 888 has just launched their poker brand in Portugal, making them the second poker brand to enter the Portuguese market, after PokerStars did the same in 2016.
888 is one of the world’s biggest names in poker, and their arrival in the regulated Portuguese market is expected to shake things up by providing players with an option for online poker destinations for the first time. The new Portuguese 888 online poker brand will be operated via the 888poker.pt website.
888 Head of B2C Guy Cohen said: “Portugal is a fantastic opportunity for 888, and we’re excited to be just the second poker operator to enter the market. Players love their poker, and there is incredible scope to grow its popularity. We’re looking forward to giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy the game.”
“Shared liquidity with 888poker.es will enhance players’ gaming experience with a greater pool of players, and we believe our platform can help lift the entire landscape for poker in Portugal,” Cohen added. “With our unique variety of poker formats, promotions, and affordable buy-ins, we’re confident we can offer Portuguese players a first-class experience, whether they’re competing for big prizes or just looking to have fun.”
The shared liquidity Cohen mentions gives players in Portugal the opportunity to play with poker players based in Spain. They will also be able to enjoy the same excellent poker experience and tournament promotions currently being enjoyed by Spanish players. Furthermore, buy-ins for Portuguese players start at 1 Euro cent, which means they have a chance to qualify for the biggest online and live poker events, regardless of how big (or small) their bankroll is.
888poker.pt players can participate in the World Series of Poker, which is sponsored by 888poker, and the World Poker Tour, which will hold its DeepStacks tournament in September. 888 also offers players new and unique variants of the classic game of poker. Portuguese players can now try BLAST and SNAP poker games, or see how they fare in 888poker’s Progressive Knockout Tournaments.
In March, 888 has also announced that the first phase of the rollout of Poker 8, its new poker platform, is well under way. This new platform was developed primarily from ongoing research coupled with customer feedback, and Cohen has confirmed that it will be available to Portuguese players. 888 CEO Itzai Pazner first made mention of their plans to enhance existing products when he was interviewed back in February, and it certainly seems like they’re following through on that promise.
This recent development is just the latest sign that online gambling is expanding to a significant level in Portugal. Earlier in the week, the Portuguese gambling regulator, Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ) announced that the online sector of the Portuguese gambling industry has generated a record revenue for the first quarter of the year. It was up 43.8% from the same period last year.
It is worth mentioning that online poker revenue has gradually fallen over the past three quarters, with cash games and tournaments holding only 13.9% combined market share for the online casino sector. It is hoped that with the entry of 888 into the market, revenue for online poker will once again pick up.