Simon’s Guide to Gambling in Portugal

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A picture of a casino in Estoril, just outside Lisbon. This is the header image of my guide about gambling, casinos and poker in Portugal.

Portugal gambling guide

Local authorities recently legalized online gambling in Portugal. Prior to the enactment of Decree-Law No. 66/2015, signed into law on April 29, online gambling was technically a monopoly of the Portuguese National Lottery. However, foreign online gambling platforms were not regulated, blocked, licensed or taxed – there were basically no proper regulatory framework for their operations in Portugal. In practice, this meant that such online platforms were free to accept players the country, and Portuguese players were also free to place bets with any such sites unregulated.

However, the enactment of the new gaming law brought about significant change in the status-quo. After the enactment of the new law, all online gambling operators must obtain a licence from the authorities and pay taxes to the Portuguese state after the revenues they collect in the country. The legislation received the most criticism in relation to the high tax rates (online gambling operators must pay 15-30% tax after gambling revenues), while online sports betting sites are taxed between 8-16% of the total revenue*.

The Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ) is the regulatory body overseeing and controlling all gambling in Portugal (now online gambling too). They’re also the ones to issue licenses to operators. Currently, the following types of online gambling games are eligible for a licence, under Portuguese law:

  • fixed-odds sports betting;
  • mutual and fixed-odds horserace betting;
  • bingo
  • games of chance, including the following types: Baccarat punto banca/Macau, French banque; Blackjack; slot machines; Poker in tournament mode; Poker “omaha”, “hold’em”, “synthetic” and Caribbean; American and French roulette.

According to the new legislation, the SRIJ can also order an ISP ban to block access to unlicensed operators** – a common procedure in countries with regulated online gambling markets. However, these bans are always easy to circumvent and players  and operators cannot be prosecuted for gambling on unlicensed platforms, according to Portuguese law (see below for details). News pieces and reports suggest, that Portugal’s attempt to regulate the online gambling market will not work out as planned. Many major gambling operators such as William Hill, PKR and Party Poker already announced their departure from the Portuguese market, while PokerStars and Full Tilt temporarily restricted access to their sites, until they negotiate with the authorities. It seems, that the Portuguese online gambling regulation will yield results similar to that of Spain, where reportedly 46% of locals turned to unlicensed sites for a better gaming experience***.

*Source: Portugal to launch online gaming market on June 28

**Source: ICLG – Gambling in Portugal – 2016

***Source: Poker Sites Announce Departure from Portugal

 

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Summary:

 

 

Casino gambling in Portugal

 

Online casino gambling in Portugal: legal, license required

 

Brick and mortar casinos are legal and regulated in Portugal. Casinos in Portugal are operated both in tourist resorts (integrated casinos) and as standalone venues.

Online casinos were in a legal grey area, prior to the new legislation in April 2015, when the new online gambling legislation was enacted. Currently, online casinos in Portugal are eligible for a licence to run Baccarat punto banca/Macau, French banque, Blackjack, slot machines and several variations of poker and roulette (American and French). Foreign operators will be blocked in the future, after licenses start to be issued. However, players and operators gambling in foreign casinos online in Portugal cannot be prosecuted by the authorities currently. The same thing happened in Germany, the EU ruled, that the German government can not punish citizens or operators for playing online in foreign, unlicensed  online casinos, if the government made it impossible for them to acquire licenses* (EU directive is online gambling market liberalization). Till the the government starts to issue gambling licenses all the following online casinos accept players from Portugal.

The following online casinos accept players from Portugal:

This is a picture of 32 Red's animated GIF banner. 32 Red online casino accepts players from Barthelemy. The animated GIF reads: 32 Red online casino, sign up now, $10 free no deposit required, Gambleaware.co.uk.

32 Red casino – accepting players from Portugal

This is an animated GIF banner ad of Betsson casino. Betsson casino accepts players from Portugal. On the banner you can read the following: will you be the next winner?, 100% up to £100, claim your welcome bonus.

Betsson online casino – accepting players from Portugal

This is an animated GIF banner ad of Betsafe casino. Betsafe casino accept players from Portugal. The text on the banner ad reads: Betsafe, 50% deposit bonus up to €25, plus 50 free spins on Gonzo's Quest.

Betsafe online casino – accepting players from Portugal

This is an animated GIF banner of Casino Euro. Casino Euro is one of the many online casinos, which accept players from Portugal.

Casino Euro – accepting players from Portugal

This is an animated GIF banner ad of the online casino Black Lotus. Black Lotus casino accepts players from Portugal. The animated banner reads: elemental 7, play now, Bonus code: Earth, 10 free spins.

Black lotus casino – accepting players from Portugal

This is the animated GIF banner ad of Lotus Asia online casino. Lotus Asia online casino accepts players from Portugal. The animated banner reads: get $1000 free, download, instant play.

Lotus Asia casino – accepting players from Portugal

gtbets_casino_banner

GT Bets accepts players from Portugal – accepting Bitcoins as well

*EU Top Court says Germany can’t punish Online Betting Operators

 

Bingo in Portugal

 

Online bingo in Portugal: legal, license required

 

Land based bingo halls can operate legally in Portugal (in fact, I went past one called Panda Bingo on my way to the grocery store every day, when I stayed in Lisbon.).

According to the new legislation, Online bingo sites are also eligible for a licence. We can assume, that once licenses start to be issued, the government will order ISPs to block major foreign, offshore, unlicensed bingo sites. However, for the time being, playing at foreign online bingo platforms is not restricted.

The following bingo websites accept players from Portugal:

This is the animated banner ad of Betsson Bingo. This GIF online bingo banner is 728x90 pixel wide. Betsson bingo is one of the online bingo websites, that accepts players from Portugal. The animated GIF reads: welcome bonus package up to R$1200, receive bonuses on your 4 deposits.

Betsson Bingo – accepting registrations from Portugal

This is the animated banner ad of 32 Red Bingo. This GIF bingo banner is 728x90 pixels wide. 32 Red bingo is a an online bingo website, which accepts players from Portugal. The animated GIF reads: Get £10 To try the all ne 32 Red Bingo, We've got Penny, Bogof and free bingo, guaranteed prites and loads more, plus all the great slots and jackpots we all love, All that's missing is you.

32 Red Bingo – accepting registrations from Portugal

 

Poker – Portugal

 

Online poker – Portugal: legal, license required

 

Land based poker in Portugal is legal and regulated. All major brick and mortar casinos have poker tables and standalone poker clubs are also operational.

Online poker in Portugal is legal and licensed since April 29, 2015. However, the first licenses are yet to be issued. Poker Stars and Full Tilt will most likely obtain a Portuguese license, but due to the high tax rates, it is quite possible that they will have little to no competition on the legal market. Some major players, like PKR and Party Poker seized their operations in Portugal and do not plan to apply for a licence. However, for the time being, playing at online poker sites is not restricted, and all the following poker websites accept players from Portugal.

The following online poker websites accept players from Portugal:

This is a banner ad of Betsson online Poker website. This is a 728x90 pixel banner. Betsson online poker is one of the many online poker rooms, which accept players from the Portugal. The animated banner reads: plus 30% rakeback, 100% up to €1000.

Betsson online Poker – accepting players from Portugal

This is the animated GIF banner ad of Betsafe's online poker website. It is 728x90 pixel wide. Betsafe online poker is one of the many online poker websites, which accept players from Portugal. The animated banner reads: betsafe welcome deal, 3 great reasons to join the fun, up to €1000 deposit bonus.

Betsafe online Poker – accepting players from Portugal

This is the animated GIF banner ad of 32 Red's online poker website. It is 728x90 pixel wide. Betsafe online poker is one of the many online poker websites, which accept players from Portugal. The animated banner reads: 32 Red 30% rakeback, $1000 welcome bonus, €2500 freerolls.

32 Red online Poker – accepting players from Portugal

 

Sports betting in Portugal

 

Online sports betting in Portugal: legal, license required

 

Land based sports betting is the monopoly of the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, which offers a sports pool betting game, Totobola. It is available in land based venues and through an online platform as well.

The new online gambling law opened up the legal online betting market in Portugal for international operators. However, we’re yet to see, how many of the major international online bookmakers will actually acquire a Portuguese license, in spite of the somewhat unfavourable conditions laid down in the legislation. One thing is for certain, though: till the government actually start to issue online sports betting licenses, all the following online bookmakers accept people from Portugal.

The following online sportsbooks accept players from Portugal:

This is an animated GIF banner ad of Betsson sportsbook. Betsson online bookmaker accepts registrations from Portugal. On the banner you can read: claim your welcome bonus, bonus 100% up to €25.

Betsson online sportsbook – accepting registrations from Portugal

This is an animated GIF banner ad of Betsafe sportsbook. Betsafe online sportsbook accept registrations from Portugal. The text on the banner ad reads. betsafe, 50% deposit bonus up to €25, 2nd tier bonus, open an account today.

Betsafe online bookmaker – accepting registrations from Portugal

This is a banner of 32 Red Sports, the online sportsbook of 32 Red Casino. 32 Red online sportsbook accepts players from Portugal. The animated GIF banner reads: £10 free bet, Place your first bet & get a £10 free bet plus 10 free games on one of our fantastic slots, + 10 free games, 32 Red Sport.

32 Red sport online sportsbook – accepting players from Portugal

gtbets_sportsbook

GT Bets online bookmaker – accepts registrations from the Portugal, also accepts Bitcoin

 

Lottery in Portugal

 

Online lottery in Portugal: legal, state monopoly

 

Lottery in Portugal is the monopoly of the Portuguese national lottery company, Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa. The company offers several types of lotteries and scratch cards. They operate an online lottery as well.

Private online lottery operators are not eligible for a licence under the new legislation. However, various foreign online lotteries also let Portuguese players purchase lottery tickets online, (e.g.: the pan European lottery Euro Millions).

The following websites let people from Portugal purchase lottery tickets online:
Coming soon!

 

 

Bitcoin gambling in Portugal

 

Bitcoin gambling in Portugal: not regulated

 

Portugal appears to have no legal framework for Bitcoin*. However, the Bank of Portugal did mention in a press release that it does not consider it a safe currency. Nevertheless, they do not restrict using Bitcoin for paying for products or services. In theory, this means gambling online in Bitcoins is not restricted either. However, we’re yet to see, if the SRIJ will license any Bitcoin gambling operations or allow its licensees to accept deposits in the cryptocurrency.

For now, one thing is for certain: players from Portugal are accepted in at least one online casinos, which accept Bitcoin as well.

The following Bitcoin casinos accept players from Portugal:

This a banner ad from Portugal

GT Bets accepts players from Portugal, and also accepts Bitcoin

*Source: Regulation of Bitcoin in Selected Jurisdictions

 

 

If you have questions or any feedback don’t hesitate to drop a comment below. Please let me know in the comments section if you think we might have gotten something wrong or if you have additional information, clarification about the legal status of online gambling in this country.

 

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This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.

 

Last updated: 2016-05-10

Summary
Simon's Portugal Gambling Guide
Article Name
Simon's Portugal Gambling Guide
Description
An overview of the legal status of online gambling in Portugal. Focusing on the changes in the system brought about by the online gambling legislation enacted in April 2015.
Author
Simon's Online Marketing Kft.

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