Published on July 7, 2015 in Industry News

Flag of PortugalThe Portuguese online gambling market will soon be experiencing a brand new era in the country's history. On the 28th of July 2015, the Portuguese online market will be liberalized, meaning that the online gambling market activity in Portugal will be licensed and regulated. 

The Portuguese government is preparing for the roll-out of these new laws and is aiming to sign up as many casino operators as possible in order for things to go smoothly.

Portugal's Secretary of State for Tourism, Adolfo Mesquita Nunes, confirmed this saying, "We are preparing everything so that on June 28 the technical control structure is operating. We want to sign up as many operators as possible, particularly international operators."

While the first of the licenses will be issued to qualifying casino operators very shortly after the launch date, it has been confirmed that there are absolutely no limits to the amount of licenses available. 

A large push for the liberalization of the online gambling market is due to the country being extremely "cash-strapped". By the Portuguese president, Aníbal António Cavaco Silva, signing off on the new licensing laws earlier this year, the government hopes to procure an additional €25 million in revenue per annum. 

New laws and taxes

The Remote Gaming Association has commented on the proposed taxes for licensed operators stating they are too high. To date there has been no comment from the Portuguese government on whether or not they will considering lowering these percentages.

The current proposed taxes are set at a rate of between 8% and 16% of sports betting turnover, while casino and games revenue companies will pay between 15% and 30%. Peer to peer betting companies, such as those who offer betting exchanges and cash poker, are proposed to be taxed as much as 15% on revenue.

Whether or not these new taxes will negatively affect interest in the Portuguese casino industry still remains to be seen. For now, the new legalization is on the horizon and promising to be quite the game changer.