Portuguese Gambling Association Lauds Progress On Internet Gambling

But warns that its support is contingent on licenses for existing (land) concession holders only

The Portuguese Casino Association, a trade body representing the interests of land gambling operators in the Portuguese market, has welcomed the progress being made on internet gambling licensing and regulation… but only as long as licensing is restricted to existing [land] concession holders.

Jorge Armindo, president of the PCA, told the Lusa News Agency Thursday:

"It is good that online gambling is getting regulated and becomes a legal form of gambling [although] the means chosen may not have been the most appropriate."

Armindo stressed the need for exclusivity in licensing, commenting:

"Our position has always rested on the right of concession holders to exclusivity in online gaming, indeed, in alignment with the concession that was attributed to us in 2001 and for which we paid many millions of euros at the time."

However, the government clearly has a different view, encouraged by the European Commission.

During a government press conference Thursday, State Secretary for Tourism, Adolfo Mesquita Nunes described the legislative proposal for Internet based gambling, and explained that the measure is still subject to parliamentary approval as "…an open regime, by licensing, without any concession of exclusivity."

Nunes said that he wanted the legislation enacted before the end of this year, and stressed that it was based on best European practices, European Commission recommendations and a study of comparative legislation.

Questioned by reporters on the future of Santa Casa da Misericórdia, the charitable institution that runs the state lottery monopoly, Nunes said "…sporting bets within the territorial framework would be granted to Santa Casa thus leveraging its already acquired experience."

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa

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