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These last years were a time of changes in the attitude towards gambling in Portugal. Portuguese online casinos started to get licensed and regulated by a special body. It was going to create a safe environment for the Portuguese, but the aim of the government was more materialistic. HolyMoly Casinos are going to go deeper into the Portuguese gambling legislation and history. We will try to find all the answers for you.

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Gambling in Portugal was always legal technically. It was only technically as there was no one body for regulating this sphere with taxes and bans. Well, to understand the things better, we should know some information about the history of the Portuguese gambling.

The 20th century is considered as the birth of gambling in Portugal. This sphere appeared here quite late in comparison with other European countries. The first land-based casino was opened only in 1904, and now it is the oldest and very popular casino.

Gambling in Portugal was always legal technically. It was only technically as there was no one body for regulating this sphere with taxes and bans.

Casino Estoril is a sight every gambler should visit while traveling to Portugal. It is famous for being exceptionally beautiful. This place is very lucky, and in 2001, an old lady of 70 years old, won an incredible jackpot here - 1 million dollars. Well, she might have no financial problems for the rest of her life.

Gambling activities

1783 was the year when first lotteries appeared. The National Lottery in Portugal was used for the charity needs only. Sports betting was developing since 1961, and lotto began to be controlled in 1985. The country used to be divided into several gambling zones, and different gambling activities were controlled by different bodies:

  • Santa Casa da Misericórdia De Lisboa (SCML) - the body responsible for such-called “social games”. This organization was some kind of a monopoly with a right to organize sports betting activity and lotteries.
  • The Inspector General of Games - a body for controlling bingo, poker, casino games, and slots.

Bingo and horse racing were permitted only by inked contracts. Portugal still has negative attitudes towards horse racing. The reason is unknown. The new rules to regulate Portugal online casinos, and all gambling activity were created by the government in 2010 and 2012. But these bills were rejected, and finally, on the 28th of June, 2015,  the laws of the new gambling regime were released. The matter is that it actually came into effect in 2017. According to the new laws, all online and land-based casinos became legal.

Portuguese Gambling Regulatory and Inspection Authority

The new regulatory body is in charge of all gambling activities and Portugal casino sites. Its name is really difficult to pronounce - Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ). It means Portuguese Gambling Regulatory and Inspection Authority. It is issuing licenses and controlling the casinos operating in Portugal.

This sphere was unregulated for many years and just started to control all this stuff. Now, they have 10 licensed land-based casinos in Portugal for you to visit. The first online casino in Portugal with the Portuguese license was Betclick Everest Group. They are already thinking to leave this market because of high taxes applied.

The taxation is a great problem there now. It is stated in the Online Gambling and Betting Legal Regime (the main gambling act in Portugal) that all the best online casinos for the Portugal players have to pay 15%-30% taxes to the State treasury. Some casinos consider these taxes being too high and terminated their activity in Portugal. Now, the authorities are planning to raise additional taxation to get up to €25 million per year from gambling. That’s how so many approved Portuguese websites and land-based casinos will decrease in number dramatically.

Common, guys, lessen your taxes!

Legalized gambling activity has an essential drawback, as they are focused more on money than on the players. They don’t want to regulate their taxation policy to allow more casinos enter the market. All they want is money. Even loyal players in Portugal will start choosing a casino without a Portuguese license. By the way, the government doesn’t punish people for playing in unlicensed online casinos. They are trying to block such websites, but they are not in power to block all of them.

As a result, we have a great paradox: they want more money, but they will lose up to €20 million of tax revenue next year if some of the major online casinos decide to leave this lucrative market and discard the Portuguese license. HolyMoly Casinos think that the government of Portugal should change their laws and taxation fees so that more online casinos could afford it. In order to choose the best online casino in Portugal, use our algorithm.

Guide to Choose the Best Online Casino for Portuguese Players

The first thing, you must know before looking for a casino, there are two license types obligatory for any gambling website available for the Portuguese:

  1. One of the international institutions ensuring the casino is safe and reliable. The best thing is to choose a website with the license by the Malta Gambling Authority. Curacao will also do if the casino is really great in other terms.
  2. The license issued by the Portuguese government giving you full confidence in that this place is legal in Portugal.

The second one isn’t obligatory for a player, as you won’t be punished for playing at the casino without this license. This one is more for the government and taxation issues we’ve described above. However, if the casino is based in Portugal, it must be licensed by the government.

Every casino that wants to have a Portuguese license should be ready not only for high taxes but also for some tedious responsibilities:

  • The online casino should open an office in Portugal;
  • They should use a .pt domain for the Portuguese players;
  • All financial transactions should be carried through the Portuguese bank account.

Wow! HolyMoly Casinos consider that it’s too much for a license you get for 3 years only. These terms are one of the most strict we’ve ever met. We’ve met many of those, be sure. The Portuguese law states that you can’t gamble if you are under 18, and it’s pretty standard.

Here are some other factors you should consider while choosing a decent Portuguese gambling website:

  1. Portuguese language Choose online casinos available in the Portuguese language;
  2. Portuguese games The games by reputable providers (IGT, Microgaming, and some others). However, NetEnt games are not available for the Portuguese;
  3. Support The Support should be 24/7;
  4. Currency The main Portuguese currency is euro, and most casinos accept it, so it won’t be a problem to find it;
  5. Payment method in Portugal The most popular payment method in Portugal is PayPal, and there are many casinos offering it; you may also look up the casinos that accept Multibanco as a payment method;
  6. Promotional offers There have to be many promotional offers and a decent welcome bonus. Don’t also forget to check the terms for those promos.

There are many online casinos for the Portuguese, and HolyMoly Casinos made a list of top websites to play your favorite games.

Top Portuguese Online Casinos for 2018

Here is a list of top 5 Portuguese online casinos:

  1. Casumo Casino;
  2. SlotJoint Casino;
  3. Bob Casino;
  4. 32Red Casino;
  5. All British Casino.

Before playing at any of these casinos, read out informative reviews. They include all the necessary information in a funny way.


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