Portugese Online Gambling Tax Reform Requested By EGBA

Published Thursday, April 11, 2019 - Online-Casinos.com
Portugese Online Gambling Tax Reform Requested By EGBA
Portugal is under a cloud of criticism lately for its online gambling industry taxation which has been called “discriminatory” by some including the European Gaming and Betting Association. The organization is calling on the Portuguese government to conduct a review of its online gambling tax process. The organization is claiming the current tax regime has a negative impact on players choice of offerings. All forms of gambling are legal in the country and the government is able to offer games of chance or delegate offerings to a third party supplier. Online gambling has been legal since 2013 with a legal framework for the sector being approved in 2015. The aim was to provide a safe environment for gamblers who go to online betting platforms and as a way to gain funds through taxation of wagering. Portugal actively blocks offshore gambling platforms that target Portuguese residents without being licensed by the Servico de Regullacao Inspecao de Jogos. The 2015 online gambling regulatory framework included a new tax regime. Online sports betting operators are taxed from 8% to 16% on their betting turnover and those offering online casinos are taxed at rates of between 15% and 30% on gross revenues. A review of this regime was supposed to come two years after the issuance of the first license in May of 2016. A recent study from the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa and Qdata revealed that about 75% of gamblers in Portugal access products from the unregulated betting market. The licensed operators pass on much of the tax costs to players so gamblers look for better odds in an unregulated market. Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, European Gaming and Betting Association wrote, “If the tax rules do not change then Portuguese consumers will continue to find more competitive gambling products with websites which are not regulated and licensed in Portugal — which do not pay tax in Portugal and might expose Portuguese players to inadequate consumer protection safeguards.”

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