Portugal’s approach to regulating its online gaming market is “clearly failing”, according to a report commissioned by the Remote Gambling Association.
The survey, prepared by Eurogroup Consulting, found that 68 percent of Portuguese online bets are placed with unlicensed operators.
“The legal regime for online gambling that was adopted in 2015 is clearly failing to combat the unregulated market,” said Pierre Tournier, director of government relations at the RGA.
The 2015 regulation saw Betclic Everest awarded the first licence in May 2016 by Portuguese regulator SRIJ, before six more companies gained approval, a low figure due in part to the country’s unique taxation regime.
The SRIJ bases online sports betting tax on operator turnover, not GGR, an increased expense necessarily passed onto customers, with 38 percent of Portuguese gamblers seeking more favourable odds elsewhere, only one percent lower than those placing bets legally.
A review of regulation is due in May 2018, two years after the first license was granted, and the RGA has urged the country to include a tax change in its considerations.
“We strongly believe that the Portuguese government should follow examples of other European countries that have successfully regulated the sector by adopting a GGR-based tax,” added Tournier.