Online Poker - Portugal to become regulated in 2012

04 August 2012

According to a recent article on a Portuguese national newspapper, the “Santa Casa Da Misericordia”, the agency that regulates lottery, lotto tickets, and scratch cards games in Portugal will be the regulatory body to implement and regulate online gambling in Portugal still before the end of 2012.

The Deputy Director of Portuguese newspaper “Diário de Noticias”, Filomena Martins, speaks of an extensive research paper which, according to the authors Rui Pedro Antunes and Silvia Freches, appears that the Santa Casa will be the future organization responsible for the online gaming market in Portugal.

After reviewing the existing regulated markets in Europe, categorizing them as open / liberal (in countries like United Kingdom), semi-liberal/moderate (like Spain) the paper suggests that the Portuguese market would be a model closed / restricted, it would be similar to the Italian, Belgian or Swedish business models.

According to this publication, the Bank of Portugal will have a key role in the control of the operators to be licensed, and at the same time create an entity that regulates and controls those activities. Silvia Freches ensures that a government commission conducted a secret study of 372 pages.

The article also talks about some entities affected by the regulation of gambling in Portugal, football clubs for example, which in recent months saw some of the most powerful sponsors (like Bwin or Betclick) were forced to leave the country. According to the newspapper, an sponsor contract like this can represent up to 40% of the annual budget of a Football club in Portugal.

Although the information is based on a research paper and has not yet been officially released by Portuguese Government, it is not surprising that the current crisis situation of the country, they look to e-gaming as a new source of revenue, and try to regulate it as soon as possible.

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