Changes proposed but high tax hampers online gaming development
The government has suggested changes to Portugal’s new online gaming laws for inclusion in the 2018 State Budget.
These include amendments to the 2015 gambling laws that introduce national and international liquidity sharing and to revise the division of the money raised from taxes on fixed-odds sports betting.
The main proposal is to allow licensed operators in Portugal to share their gambling platform to provide online games to players registered with different sites in the country.
The government also has proposed that operators can provide online gaming between players registered with Portuguese sites and platforms in other countries where liquidity sharing is allowed.
The proposed amendments will apply to sports betting and to poker – which already is poised to expand through a liquidity sharing deal with Italy, France and Spain after the gambling authorities in those countries signed an agreement.
Amid market disappointment, the much disliked method of calculating tax – based on turnover, not winnings – is to remain in place.
The 2015 online gambling law anyway is undergoing a re-think from the licensing body which will submit a report to government by May 2018 on how the market has been performing.
Portugal’s fledgling online gambling market has not been helped by high tax levels, among the highest in the EU, and hence one of the lowest levels of uptake.
The State Budget proposal paves the way for further changes in regulatory and fiscal aspects of the market as the current regulations are hampering the development of the market and hence the overall amount tax raised.
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