APAJO Launches Partner Status – Evolution, IGT and Playtech the First to Join

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The Portuguese Online Gambling Association (APAJO), which represents operators holding 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’s efforts.

“APAJO aggregates industry organizations that work towards a safe, sustainable and successful online gambling environment,” the Board President for APAJO, Ricardo Domingues, said. “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.

“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 on board and we hope to announce further partners in the coming months.”

“As a market leader, Evolution’s goal is, as ever, to ensure we are present from day one in all newly-regulated markets,” the Europe Chief Business Development Officer for Evolution, Nicholas Peters, said. “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,” the Senior Vice-President, Chief Compliance and Risk Management Officer for IGT, Luke Orchard, said. “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.”

“Playtech is delighted to join APAJO and collaborate with both local operators and our international peers to support growth of the sector in Portugal,” the Head of Regulatory Affairs for Playtech, Charmaine Hogan, said. “As a well-established B2B gambling technology supplier in Portugal, we have been delivering a diverse and entertainment-led offering across many verticals as well as our safer gambling data analytics and artificial intelligence 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 its launch in mid-2016, namely by attracting users that were previously with black market operators and also via the natural migration of consumers from land-based to online products. The latest study (July of 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 constructive dialogue between legislator, regulator, industry, consumers, scientific and technical experts as well as other stakeholders, the local industry can continue to evolve and provide a safe and entertaining environment for Portuguese gambling consumers.

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