Portuguese casino revenue has yet to fully recover from the impact of the global financial crisis, having fallen from a peak of €386m in 2008 to €309m in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available.
Land-based casinos in Portugal are restricted to specific gambling zones: Açores, Algarve, Espinho, Estoril, Figueira da Foz, Funchal, Porto Santo, Póvoa de Varzim, Troia and Vidago-Pedras Salgadas.
There are 12 casinos and one gaming room in operation in Portugal
Casinos can offer table games, including baccarat, blackjack/21, craps, cussec, American and French roulette and poker games.
The government may authorise other forms of games of chance at the request of existing operators, but the SRIJ must provide an opinion of the proposed activity. Casinos can also only use gambling material that has been previously authorised by the SRIJ.
Land-based poker is only allowed within casinos, either in cash games or tournaments, as it is considered a game of chance in Portugal.
Portugal’s gambling regulator, the Regulation and Inspection Service of Games (SRIJ), is a component of the Tourism Office.
Aside from casinos, the gambling market in Portugal is dominated by Santa Casa, an historic charitable organisation which holds a monopoly over lottery games, land-based betting on sports and horseracing.
A liberalised online gambling market was introduced in May 2016, but has faced challenges due in large part to a tough tax regime, with online casinos taxed at a variable rate of 15-30 percent of GGR, but is now worth roughly 4 percent of market-wide GGR.
It was confirmed in October 2018 that initiatives to soften Portugal’s online gambling tax regime, through a consolidation of online gambling tax at 25 percent of GGR, were to be excluded at the last minute from the 2019 Budget
A working group set up to analyse potential tax changes in Portugal was then due to report in February, 2019, but failed to publish any findings.
In Portugal, gambling is considered an “atypical and sensitive economic activity”, which must be closely monitored to prevent organised crime and money laundering.
Portuguese legislation prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from entering casinos.
Land-based casinos’ opening hours are restricted to 12 hours per day.
The Inspectorate-General for Gaming can prohibit any player’s access to gambling venues.
Such measures can be demanded by the operator, the Inspectorate-General or by the player.
If exclusion is deemed to be preventative, it will last for a maximum period of two years.
Players can self-exclude for up to a five-year period, at which point casinos are then obliged to completely prevent access.
Currently, no player protection training is required by law in Portugal, but several casino operators do provide training to staff on player protection.
Casino managers and supervisors also assess potential problem gamblers.
Land-based casinos in Portugal voluntarily provide information on problem gambling.
Legal Gambling Age: 18 Years Old
Smoking Ban: Yes. However, venues with smoking areas are permitted to maintain these areas until December 2020.
Terrestrial: Multiple licences (8)
Online: Multiple licences, not capped.
Terrestrial:American/French roulette, banca Francesca, craps, cussec, blackjack, stud poker, baccarat, punto banco, chemmin de fer, poker cash, poker tournaments, slot machines.
Online:Casino games, including banca Francesca, baccarat, blackjack/21, slot machines, poker and poker in tournaments, American and French roulette.
Terrestrial:Gambling Regulation and Inspection Service
Size of Illegal Gambling Market:
Illegal offline gambling: €141.5m Euros in 2001 (according to a report by Gaming Inspection’s Operational Program against Illegal Gambling)
Illegal online gambling: €40M euros in 2012 (according to a report by the Government Commission for Online Gaming); €60M euros in 2015 (according to independent consultants)
Market Protection Measures / Tools to Tackle Illegal Gambling:Although there are no payment blocking measures currently in place in Portugal, intermediary internet service providers are obliged, within 48 hours of notification from the regulator, to block access to unlicensed operators.
Currency : Euro
(Source:The World Bank)
GNI (2014, Local Currency, Millions): 167,480
Internet Penetration (Internet Users): 64.6%
(Source: The World Bank)
Mobile Penetration (Mobile Cellular Subscriptions): 112%
(Source: The World Bank)
Doing Business Ranking (June 2015):23
(Source: World Bank Group)
Last Updated: May 2019