Published on 3 March 2015 by Rhi
Way back in 2011, Portugal announced they were looking to create a liberalised Gambling Act, enabling foreign operators to become licensed and offer their services within Portugal. This is big news as it means that the current monopoly, Santa Casa de la Misericordia is set to have some pretty serious competition.
Portugal remains an interesting market for a lot of online casino operators, however often a regulatory framework, which is meant to protect players, can end up making the market impossible for operators to enter. Too strict regulations and high tax rates are mistakes that some governments make, effectively pricing the operators they should be attracting, out of the market.
They have faced plenty of opposition, however Portugal’s government have kept their previously confirmed tax rates of 15-30% of casino revenues and 8-16% for sports revenues.
“We all know that taxation based on the amounts played or turnover and the types that have been established, is not able to absorb sufficient volume of play within the scope of the regulation.
The Portuguese government is seriously wrong in the formula and the type of tax that has been established for interactive games and betting channels.”
-Eduardo Morales-Hermo, gaming consultant.
The new framework is pretty much set, but wont become 100% confirmed until signed by the President of Portugal, Aníbal António Cavaco Silva, but now it has been announced, it’s unlikely there will be more changes before the framework goes live.
This could result in gaming companies not even considering Portugal as a viable market, or else taking the chance and entering, only to leave shortly after. It will be interesting to see which, if any, big online operators take this opportunity to add a new market and license to their portfolio.