The Portugal Online Gambling Saga - When Will Everyone Be Happy?

The Remote Gambling Association, otherwise known as the RGA have stated that they welcome the Government of Portugal online gambling initiative and the regulation of the market. They are however concerned that such high tax rates as those currently being considered, could render the country as an unviable option for internet sports betting companies.

For Portugal online gambling, presents itself as a way of raising much needed government funds, however this is very much a balancing act. If the government go too far in their current proposals of claiming between 8-16% in taxes, this could discourage sports betting operators from investing and applying for gaming licences in Portugal.

These gaming law proposals are presently going through their parliamentary process and the Remote Gambling Association is fearful that with the proposed high taxation levels, competition in Portugal's sports betting market will take a body blow. This will in turn affect the nations gaming customers and also restrict the amount of revenue raised, which would indeed be greater should lower tax rates be introduced instead.

It appears that the Government seem quite happy to have one set of tax laws for online sports betting operators and a completely different set of tax laws for offline sports betting, monopoly operators Santa Casa, whose taxation rate will be half of their online competitors.

RGA's chief executive officer, Clive Hawkswood says that whilst the Portuguese Government initiative is welcomed by the RGA and their members so the online gambling sector is properly controlled and regulated, the unworkable tax rates proposed in this current drafted law have created great concerns. Not least by citing the disparity in taxes proposed for online sports betting operators and the Santa Casa offline sports betting monopoly, who will be saving up to 50%.

Hawkswood likened Santa Casa's windfall to illegal state aid being granted by the Portuguese Government, at the same time nullifying hopes for fair competition as they set about regulating online sports betting. The RGA are currently seeking to engage in constructive dialogue about this situation, to ensure a level playing field for online sports operators seeking licenses. It remains to be seen if they're successful, and then where things go for Portugal online gambling.