Portuguese land-based casino operator Estoril Sol has been awarded the country’s first online casino licence, with its iGaming offering going live through a joint venture with Belgium’s GAMING1.

The operator owns the Casino Estoril, Casino Lisboa and Casino da Póvoa land-based venues, and has been licensed to offer a selection of casino games via Estorilsolcasinos.pt.

The new online casino has gone live through a joint venture with GAMING1, the B2B subsidiary of Belgium’s Ardent Group, owner of the Circus gaming brand.

It has initially launched with 15 video slots, two roulette and one blackjack game for mobile and desktop, all supplied by GAMING1, with more content to be added in the coming weeks.

“The creation of this joint venture demonstrates GAMING1’s strength as an all-round partner, not just a provider,” GAMING1 chief executive Sylvain Boniver said.

“We are passionate about partnering with land-based operators who want to put their business online, as this really is part of our DNA and what makes us stand out from the rest of the industry,” he explained.

Boniver said that Estoril Sol would benefit from his company’s “extensive expertise.”

“It’s a very proud moment for us to launch the first licensed website to offer legal online casino in Portugal and together we hold all the aces to move forward in this exciting market,” he added.

Estoril Sol executive director Vieira Coelho said he had been very impressed with GAMING1’s products and services, and that he was excited to be launching the casino offering with them.

“We like to enter into partnerships with companies and GAMING1 are the perfect partner for us to really target the Portuguese online casino market.”

Estoril Sol is the Portuguese branch of Asia’s Stanley Ho Group, which has been active in the country for more than 50 years and currently holds a 64 per cent share of the land-based casino market. It has become the third operator to secure a Portuguese licence after Betclic Everest Group and Bet Entertainment Technologies were approved to offer sports betting in May and July respectively.

Estoril Sol and GAMING1 each own 50 per cent of the iGaming joint venture.

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