The Portuguese Online Gambling Association (APAJO), who represents operators which hold a local national license, has created a new membership status, Effective Partner. This development is intended to allow companies other than operators, but that work within the portuguese online gambling and betting space, namely technological and service providers, to participate and contribute to the association efforts.

“APAJO aggregates industry organizations that work towards a safe, sustainable and sucessful online gambling environment. We have always been open to Portuguese license holders but felt for some time that our ambitions could be shared by other industry organizations and benefit from additional and diverse contributions.” stated the President of the Board of the association, Ricardo Domingues. “We are very proud and happy to welcome Evolution, IGT and Playtech, all leaders in this business who have been supportive of the concept from the beginning, as the first Partners of APAJO. Other entities have also expressed interested to come onboard and we hope to announce further Partners in the coming months.” added Domingues.

Nicholas Peters, Chief Business Development Officer Europe at Evolution said: “As market leader, Evolution’s goal is, as ever, to ensure we are present from day 1 in all newly regulated markets. This partnership is a great step towards maintaining this ambition. Our experience has shown that an ongoing dialogue and collaboration among suppliers, operators, and regulators before launching a new market has led to jurisdictions implementing a sustainable infrastructure that promotes player engagement and safety. We look forward to working with all associated parties within APAJO and establishing positive, mutually beneficial long-term relationships.”

“As a Company that has a long history in supporting a well-regulated industry, IGT is pleased to advance the Portuguese Online Gambling Association’s mission via our Effective Partner membership,” said Luke Orchard, IGT Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance and Risk Management Officer. “APAJO plays a critical role in shaping a positive play environment for players, suppliers and operators across Portugal and protecting the long-term success of the iGaming sector.”

Charmaine Hogan, Head of Regulatory Affairs at Playtech said: “Playtech is delighted to join APAJO and collaborate with both local operators and our international peers to support growth of the sector in the Portugal.  As a well-established B2B gambling technology supplier in Portugal, we have been delivering a diverse, entertainment led offering across many verticals as well as our safer gambling data analytics and AI tools in the market.  As a formal member, we are excited to contribute our insights and expertise with the industry and join forces to foster a sustainable and safe online gambling industry. “

The Portuguese licensed market has been growing steadily since it’s launch in mid-2016, namely by attracting users that were previously on the black market operators and also via the natural migration of consumers from the landbase to the online products. The latest study (July 2023) from Aximage on Portuguese Users Online Gambling Habits shows the percentage of users playing exclusively in the licensed environment (in opposition to playing also or exclusively in the unlicensed environment) seems to be hitting a ceiling around 60% and APAJO expects that through construtive dialogue between legislator, regulator, industry, consumers, scientific and technical experts, as well as other stakeholders, the local industry can continue to evolve and to provide a safe and entertaining enviroment for portuguese gambling consumers.