Portugal's Online Gambling Bill Kicks-in June

Published May 6, 2015 by Amir G

Portugal's Online Gambling Bill Kicks-in June

The online gambling world prepares as Portugal's online gambling market opens June 28.

It's been a long time coming and now Portugal is finally set to introduce its new online gambling bill. President Anibal Cavaco Silva has signed the approved bill, and the date for the new framework to come into force is June 28; the licensing window for interested operators is now officially open.

Hopes for International Market

Up until now, Portugal's gambling scene was dominated by the government gambling monopoly of Santa Casa da Misericordia, but now that's about to change as the market opens with other companies being able to receive licenses to operate in the country.

The future situation has sparked many hopes in the hearts of lawmakers who are hoping to create a strong online gambling market with an international appeal. Speaking on the upcoming regulation, Portugal's Secretary of State for Tourism Adolfo Mesquita Nunes said that the country will allow the distribution of licenses without limit. Nunes outlined that the government's intention is to sign as many operators as possible with an emphasis on international ones.

€25 Million in Tax Revenues

One of the main driving factors for the new regulation is the expected annual revenue of €25 million that the Portuguese government is hoping to receive from online gambling. According to Nunes, the upcoming licensing system will be efficient as operators will be able to receive licenses within just a few days after the regulation comes into force. Santa Casa remains in the picture, serving as the regulator.

High Tax Rate Criticized

Last summer, the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) warned that the suggested 8 to 16 per cent tax on online sports betting in Portugal's drafted online gambling bill will deter operators from entering the country; this is joined by a 15 to 30 per cent tax on online casino and poker revenues.

It remains to be seen how these taxing policies will affect operators, but it's clear that online gambling in Portugal is about to enter a new and exciting stage.

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