Portugal iGaming Moves Forward with Seventh Licence IssuedPublished June 28, 2017 by Florin P
Portugal issues the 7th online gambling license to Sociedade Figueira Praia amid debate about high taxes.
Online gambling operators in Portugal have been complaining about the tax heavy regulations that eat into their profit margins. Local authorities don’t show any intention of changing existing laws, but despite their rigid attitude, bookmakers and casinos still apply for licenses. The Portuguese regulatory body Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal has just issued its seventh online casino license. Sociedade Figueira Praia are the beneficiaries of the license that will allow them to provide customers with sports betting options under their Casino Portugal brand.
Just Three Licensed Bookmakers in Portugal
Sociedade Figueira Praia has become the third bookie authorized to cater for Portuguese customers. After they were granted the coveted license, they have joined Betclic Everest Group and Bet Entertainment Technologies in a very exclusive group. Local regulators have issued three other casino licenses and one for a poker operator, bringing the grand total to 7 authorized gambling groups. Sports betting in general and football in particular account for most of the revenue generated by online gambling in Portugal.
The Portuguese government levies hefty taxes on gambling operators, denounced by casinos and bookies as simply unworkable. The variable tax starts at 8% and applies to the first €30 million and then jumps to 16%, which is above the industry average. Performance indices indicate falling revenue for Portuguese operators, but the numbers don’t have a deterring effect on those still applying for a license.
Future performance of Sociedade Figueira Praia is likely to determine the actions of Betclic Everest Group and Bet Entertainment Technologies. If the new operator fails to stay above the profitability line, the Portuguese regulators will have a harder time justifying the high taxes. Otherwise, the aforesaid bookies and other online gambling operators will have to hang in there and hope for the best, until the SRIJT changes its mind.