Law on sports betting in Portugal
Gambling and sports betting in Portugal are extremely liberal. Gambling and sports betting enthusiasts at Portugal can be considered really lucky. This is because the state located on the Iberian Peninsula has very liberal laws when it comes to gambling. Almost all types of gambling are legal, from online casinos, sports betting to various lotteries and scratch games. Portugal thus makes an exception from most countries in the European Union, which have stricter controls on the activity of gambling operators.
What are the options for players?
Unlike other countries, Portugal offers its players a wide range of local operators. The latter offer a variety of games and different ways to have fun. There are 9 local casinos where you can play casino games but also place sports bets. They are:
- Casino Estoril
- Casino Lisboa
- Casino Solverde de Espinho
- Casino Figueira da Foz
- Algarve Casino Hotel
- Casino da Madeira & Casino Park Hotel
- Casino de Vilamoura
- Povoa de Varzim Casino
- Casino de Monte Gordo
Another very popular option in the country is the national lottery. It has its beginnings as far back as 1783. The national lottery is organized exclusively by the state department known as Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lisboa, abbreviated SCML. This authority has the exclusive right to several games in the Portuguese state, including sports betting. However, you should not worry, as you can play for your favorite team at foreign operators operating in the country (offshore).
Totobola is also a locally acclaimed game that is very similar to classic sports betting. This game is also organized exclusively by SCML.
The biggest advantage of players in Portugal is the fact that their winnings are never taxed!
What is the minimum age to play sports betting in Portugal?
In Portugal the minimum age to play games of chance is different based on certain criteria. For foreign nationals, who want to place bets or play in a casino in the country, the minimum age is 18 years. For locals, ie for Portuguese citizens, the border is 21 years old. There are even certain casinos that do not accept players under the age of 25. Anyway, in the end everything depends on the particular operator.
What are the best sports betting apps and sites?
Although the Portuguese government has banned the sites of many foreign sports betting platforms, there are still some of them where local players can try their luck. The following sites have pretty good ratings and there are no legal penalties for the players who play on them.
- 888 Sports
- Betsson Sportsbook
- bet365 Sports
- Bwin Sportsbook
- Betwinner Sports
- Megapari Sportsbook
- 22BET Sportsbook
- Melbet Sportsbook
What are the best online casinos in Portugal?
Most local casinos also have their own online platforms. However, some of the world's most popular casinos have access to the Iberian state. Some of them are:
Terms for operators
As in any other European Union country, operators wishing to enter the gambling market must obtain a license. The conditions are more or less the same for both physical and online operators. Entities must have regular records of their economic activities and sufficient financial capacity to begin the application process. Also the operators who want to be provided with a license must present a clear structure of the services provided.
The initial cost of the application is € 18,000 (basic cost only). Then, for each feature or game that needs to be licensed separately, the cost increases by € 2,000. The validity period of the license is 3 years and it can be renewed.
What should be noted are the taxes that operators have to pay, which are relatively not small. Bingo halls must pay a 25% tax to the government. As for online gambling, horse racing, sports betting, etc. the tax varies from 15% to 30%.
Latest news and the future
The Portuguese state, with a recent decision, has decided to limit online options for players, due to the situation created by COVID 19. The legal act does not contain specific information on which activities will be restricted or to what extent, but mentions the example of Spain who has followed the same policy recently.
What is known is that the government will stop operators from advertising their platforms as a way to spend time during isolation. The purpose of the initiative is certainly to protect players, especially now that they are more exposed to online gambling. The restrictions are expected to be active until the end of the state of emergency by COVID 19. This decision came after it was noted that revenues from online gambling increased exponentially by 24% in the Iberian country.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Gambling revenues increased significantly in Portugal, reaching 84.2 million euros in the third quarter of last year alone.
The minimum age varies from 18 to 21 years. However there are certain casinos in Portugal which do not accept players under the age of 25. As for offshore operators, most of them have an age limit of 18 years.
Yes! There are a number of offshore companies in Portugal that operate freely, despite government efforts to ban these platforms.