Saturday February 28,2015 : PORTUGUESE GAMBLING BILL APPROVED BY COUNCIL OF MINISTERS (Update)
Government hopes to garner Euro 25 million in tax revenues.
It's taken around four years, but the Portuguese Council of Ministers has at last approved the nation’s gambling reform bill, which includes provisions for the legalization and regulation of online gambling.
The government hopes to gather in an additional Euro 25 million in tax revenues flowing from the bill, which is scheduled to come into force before the end of 2015.
In a press release this week, the Portuguese government advises:
"The bill will proceed with the regulation of online gambling in line with the recommendations issued by the European Commission on this matter and international best practices."
The bill embraces both casino and poker activity online, along with sports betting. The measure now goes before national President Aníbal Cavaco Silva for formal signature before publication in the government gazette.
Portuguese authorities seem confident that the first licenses, valid for three years and renewable, will be issued to suitably qualified companies around the third quarter of 2015.
The national regulator will be Turismo de Portugal, which reports to the Ministry of Finance. The Turismo de Portugal will create a new Gambling Commission to handle the responsibility for regulation and licensing.
Tax levels for online casino and poker will depend on GGR and range from 15 to 30 percent, whilst sports betting will have a more reasonable tax obligation ranging between 8 and 16 percent
The gambling reforms include stiffer regulations on gambling advertising, with restrictions on hours on which television or radio ads can be flighted.