Portuguese Government Green Lights Online Gambling Law

Will parliament rubberstamp the legislation?

Portugal's slow but inexorable march towards nationally regulated and licensed online gambling (see previous InfoPowa reports) continued Thursday with the news that the government has signed off on the proposed legislation, which now goes to parliament for its imprimatur.

Portugal's Secretary of State Adolfo Mesquita Nunes, said the law now requires only a formal final approval by the National Assembly, and should come into force before the end of 2014.

The draft has continued to shy away from the monopolistic, state-owned model that at one time appeared inevitable, and licensing will be available to companies in much the same way as it has been possible in other European nations like Italy, France and neighbouring Spain.

The regulator and licensor will be a body titled Inspecção Geral de Jogos, which currently operates within Portugal's tourism ministry, although it will be substantially beefed up, according to Nunes.

Licensing requirements will be stiff and include probity checks and financial limits that include a minimum share capital of Euro 250,000, and companies must be registered and located in Portugal, using Portuguese domains.

Tax rates will be similar to those applied to the land gambling business, with tax revenues devoted to finance and sports coffers.

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa

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