Portugal Could Liberalize Online Gambling Market

Posted: August 2, 2012

Updated: October 4, 2017

Portugal shows signs of changing its view on online gambling with possible liberalization on the way.

The state of Portuguese online gambling is far from clear. Under the current Portuguese gambling laws only the monopoly of the Santa Case de Misericordia de Lisboa is allowed to operate online gambling in the country.

Portuguese government last year stressed this by supporting the company in its legal clash with Betclic Group. However, Portugal is in need of cash, coffers are getting empty and the global crisis doesn’t seem to be fading.

Recently, there have been signs that the Portuguese are finally considering changing their attitude towards online casinos in Portugal, which could become a clear source of tax income during these cash poor times.

Portugal gambling news reports that the country’s lawmakers are reviewing a huge multi-ministry report on how to liberalize and regulate the online gambling industry. Sources suggest that there are currently three ways Portugal can go in regards to online gambling:

Limited liberalization, excluding online casino gambling, which in effect will provide the Santa Casa de Misericordia de Lisboa monopoly control over regulation and licensing of any other online activity
Status quo
A brand new and more liberal licensing and regulatory regime, which would reflect other European countries, including neighboring Spain

Other sources suggest that the government seems to favor the first approach. However, it seems strange for a cash-strapped country to deny itself a brand new revenue stream. Especially when various European gambling operators already expressed their desire to enter the country’s market and provide the government coffers with much needed taxes.

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