Thursday, July 7, 2016 : SECOND ONLINE SPORTS BETTING LICENSE ISSUED BY PORTUGAL
But poker licenses remain bogged down by bureaucracy.
The Portuguese regulator Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ) has awarded its second online sports betting licence to Bet Entertainment Technologies Ltd., an operator powered by SBTech software.
Undeterred by the heavy turnover-based taxation imposed by Portugal, the Malta-based operator has opened an office in Lisbon to service clients and is promoting a Portuguese Youtube vid here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoApaqUkM1E.
The only other license so far issued in the liberalised market went to Betclic last May following the official opening of the market in February 2015.
Land casinos operator Estoril-Sol, Amorim Turismo and Solverde has indicated an interest in licensing, along with Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lisboa.
The online poker possibilities in Portugal remain bogged down by bureaucracy. After originally eschewing the idea of player pools shared with other EU regulated markets, Portuguese officials changed their minds and decided it might, after all, be a good thing.
They set about making the necessary changes, but these have to be approved by the European Commission, and the Portuguese regulator is reportedly now drafting the necessary regulatory amendments for submission to the EC.
The bureaucratic process is likely to take until November or beyond to produce the necessary authority to issue online poker licenses, according to a number of industry observers.
In related news, the long-delayed and frequently postponed liberalisation of the Dutch online gambling market may also be on the move, with reports indicating that Dutch parliamentarians could vote this week on the bill and its many amendments.
These include a harmonised land-online gambling taxation rate and provisions curtailing the ISP-blocking powers of the Kansspelautoriteit (the Dutch gambling regulator)
However, if you think that the Portuguese and Dutch taxes are tough, spare a thought for Czech Republic online casino operators in that newly regulated market. They have to contend with a 35 percent tax rate based on GGR, and a 19 percent corporation tax based on income!
Sports betting and lottery operators have a more lenient 23 percent tax rate on GGR, but still face the corporate tax.
Adding to the difficulties in turning a decent profit, the Czech politicians have imposed stiff restrictions, for example in online poker the largest bet permitted is capped at the equivalent of $41, and the maximum win allowed for a single game or tourney is just over $2,000.