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   Wednesday, April 17 2024 
Portugal: Towards a closed market without online poker

This week, the Portuguese government should adopt the bill on online gambling. It’s a measure taken following an economic context. In fact, Portugal hopes to boost the local economy thanks to gambling income. As a reminder, this country has already tried to regulate the market in the month of November 2013. But this first attempt failed. No detail on the clauses of this new legislation was provided yet. However, considering the text established by the Social Democratic Party of Portugal (PSD) and the People’s Party (CDS) in 2013, Portugal gets ready to open a monopoly market; an error that numerous European countries have already committed.

This previous text stipulates that the regulation of sports betting will be undertaken by the Santa Casa da Misericórdia (SCML) and the one of horserace betting will be attributed to the Turismo de Portugal, which is an organization linked with the Ministry of Economy. Concerning online poker, the future seems rather dark. In fact, according to the statements of a member of the SCML, Sónia Pascoal, no rule concerning the offer of poker games was envisaged. Thus, poker won’t be legalized yet. Anyway, this possible promulgation of law on the Portuguese market is already strongly criticized. The general secretary of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), Maarten Haijer has declared that a monopoly market can’t meet a success, given the experiences known by other European countries. Moreover, the tax system adopted by Portugal will lead operators to their losses, which is going to cause a decline of the market.

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