Categories: Industry

Are Portuguese Gambling Taxes Going to Change?

Portugal is well-known in the online gambling market to implement some harsh taxes on gaming operators. This week, the European Gaming and Betting Association is calling for a change. Now is a great time to look closer at the current set of Portuguese gambling taxes.

We’re also going to explain why the EGBA is pushing for these tax rates to become more lenient. There are some massive changes taking place in Europe’s internet gambling market. Could Portugal be the next country to switch up its current set of laws?

Explaining Portugal’s Current Gambling Tax System

Online gambling became legal and regulated in Portugal back in 2015. Under Decree Law No. 66/2015, foreign companies can now legally operate in the country after obtaining a license from the government. The Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal is the authority group here tasked with regulating nearly all forms of gambling.

The market in Portugal is open, yet companies operating here face some of the harshest tax rates in Europe. At the moment, casino revenue earned in the country is taxed from 15-30%. Sports betting revenue is taxed at 8-16%.

Lawmakers here briefly considered changing the tax rates earlier this year. The new plans would have let to a flat tax rate of 25% on all gambling revenue. The Portuguese government denied these plans in April.

19 companies have received licenses to operate in this country. Unfortunately, many have left the market due to the high tax regime. Interestingly, gaming revenue here still increased massively in 2018 from the year prior. So why are certain groups calling for a change to these tax rates?

EGBA Is Calling for Changes to Portuguese Gambling Taxes

The EGBA has made it clear that Portuguese gambling taxes are not benefiting the European market. New reports from this group claim that 75% of online gamblers in Portugal play through unregulated websites. The “discriminatory” tax rates are forcing companies to leave the regulated market, they argue.

Officials in the EGBA are calling for a flat rate on the country’s gross gaming revenue.

EGBA urges the authorities to apply equal taxes across all online gambling products – and based on gross gaming revenue (GGR). This will ensure the regulated Portuguese market becomes more attractive to players – because a sensible taxation level will lead to better priced betting odds – and pull into the regulated market more of the 75% of Portuguese players who are now playing on websites not regulated in Portugal,” the group states.

This certainly makes sense. The current set of tax laws here clearly favor certain gaming operators. The online gambling sites in Europe forced to pay the higher set of taxes are leaving this market, while still continuing to accept players without regulation.

A flat tax rate across all gaming revenue is common. If Portugal decides to take the EGBA’s advice, it would join most of the other European nations with regulated online gambling markets.

Will Portugal Actually Change its Tax System?

This is the million-dollar question. As we mentioned earlier, gambling revenue has been on a steady incline since the market became regulated. The reports that 75% of bettors here play through unregulated sites may change the government’s mind.

Changes to Portuguese gambling taxes will encourage more online gaming operators to enter the legalized market. This will earn the government millions more in revenue every year.

A review of the tax regime is still taking place. The Gambling Authority in this country is working hard to nail down the pros and cons of the proposed changes. The government recently proposed a 25% flat tax rate across all gaming revenue.

Do you think Portugal should change its tax structure? If so, will this encourage more companies to begin operating here legally? Let us know in the comment section below!

Kevin Oldroyd

A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack.

Recent Posts

  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

The UK’s Gambling Industry Set for New Regulations

The UK’s Gambling Commission has been setting heavy regulations on the gambling industry over the past few months. This week,… Read More

April 25, 2019 10:00 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

Are Gambling Ads in Sweden About to Be Banned?

Swedish lawmakers aren’t slowing down their restrictions towards the online gambling industry. News is coming out that gambling ads in… Read More

April 24, 2019 9:50 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry
  • Sports

Colorado Sports Betting Bill Moves Forward

Lawmakers in Colorado are closer to approving and regulating sports betting. This week, the Colorado sports betting bill has been… Read More

April 23, 2019 10:42 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

China’s Gambling Laws Are Getting Even Stranger

China is known for having some of the most restrictive gambling laws in the world. This week, the government here… Read More

April 23, 2019 3:29 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

Two Sports Betting Bills Going to Governor’s Desk in Montana

By the end of the week, before the Easter holiday weekend, Montana’s Senate approved SB 330, making that two sports… Read More

April 22, 2019 4:23 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

ESSA Wants New Zealand’s Online Gaming Market to Open

Despite having a huge number of gambling fans, New Zealand has yet to regulate its internet gaming market. ESSA, the… Read More

April 18, 2019 10:53 pm