Monday October 7,2013 : GOOD NEWS FOR PORTUGUESE ONLINE GAMBLERS
Government moves toward a reform to a more liberal environment.
Portuguese punters may soon be able to enjoy a wider choice beyond the monopoly of Santa Case de Misericordia de Lisboa in legal online gambling….current media reports from the EU nation indicate that government has an appetite for reform, if only to generate additional revenues for its cash-strapped coffers.
Earlier this week the government announced the formation of an investigative group charged with preparing a report and recommendations on how online gambling should be regulated and licensed in a more open market…it's still only a preliminary step, but it's in the right direction.
The group will almost certainly study regulations in other EU countries along with the policies of the European Commission and recent recommendations to the European Parliament.
Logically it should also study the wider international market and the trends that have evolved there among successful regulatory jurisdictions and enterprises.
Two years ago an independent survey estimated that a more open online gambling market could net the Portuguese government around a quarter million Euros in licensing and tax revenues if implemented sensibly – that's a strong inducement for a government wallowing in debt and suffering the effects of the European recession, although any new dispensation will probably be dressed up as consumer protection as has been the case with other governments.
What the Portuguese would be wise to avoid is over-taxation and over-restriction.
Careful study of the declining markets in France and Spain, along with the results of recent independent studies by respected international business service providers, will find convincing arguments against ring-fenced national markets and heavy tax percentages on gross gaming revenues rather than less greedy government takes on net revenues.
And allowing punters to claim rebates for losses as well as paying tax on winnings may encourage them to patronise locally licensed sites rather than offshore operators.