The Government of Portugal plans to introduce a new tax on sports betting, which has sparked criticism from the RGA citing it ineffective.
The proposed 8-16 percent sports betting revenue tax has been dubbed “punitive” and “unviable” by the RGA, as the organization believes that officials should take another stance on the matter.
Portugal previously indicated it plans to liberalize the gambling market, which would make way for foreign mobile betting companies to enter the country. At the moment, the nation only has one gaming provider, Santa Casa, which is fully operated by the state and maintains a monopoly.
The RGA released a statement expressing concern about the prospect of seeing a rise in taxes. Members of the organization believe that the current government is not effectively working towards establishing a solid free market that would encourage foreign investment.
RGA chief is concerned about the market prospects in Portugal
Chief executive of RGA, Clive Hawkswood, commented on the gambling news by declaring that the proposed tax bill may potentially lead to degrading the gambling industry in Portugal.
“Such a differential has the potential to create a situation of substantial illegal state aid being granted to Santa Casa by the Portuguese government whilst also destroying any hope for fair competition in a future regulated online sports betting government.”
He also added that the RGA would be willing to discuss the matter in a meeting that would also address bingo in Portugal and other gaming services. “The RGA would welcome the opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Portuguese government to ensure a level playing field for all online sports betting operators seeking to obtain licenses.”