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Gambling Activities in Portugal

Updated on Thursday 26th April 2018

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gambling-activities-in-portugal.jpgAll types of gambling activities are legalized in Portugal at the moment, including casinos, as well as lottery. The gambling industry in this country is thought to be very promising, being more relaxed from the legislation point of view when compared to other European jurisdictions. 
 
As follows, our company formation consultants in Portugal present a few key aspects related to gambling activities in Portugal.
 

Which authorities are responsible for regulating gambling?

 
In Portugal, gambling activities are regulated by the Gambling Regulatory Authority. This authority monitors, inspects and regulates land-based games of chance (casino games, bingo, slot machines and poker) and the online gambling (these are games of chance, pari-mutuel and fixed-odds horseracing bets and so on).
 
Games which are run by the state (lotteries, land-based pari-mutuel horse betting and others) are operated by the Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lisboa (SCML), through its Games Department.
 

What license is required for land-based gambling?

 
When it comes to casinos and bingo halls, land-based gambling operators have to attend a public tender procedure in order to obtain a license.
 
Several licenses can be obtained, however, a license covers only a certain geographic area.
 
Our Portugal company formation advisors can provide more details on this type of license.
 

What are the eligibility criteria for the gambling license in this jurisdiction?

 
To be eligible for a land-based gambling license in Portugal, the operator has to:
 
  • - Be a limited liability legal entity with a registered office in an EU member jurisdiction or in a country which signed the EEA;
  • - Be compliant with the administrative cooperation with regards to taxation, combating fraud and money laundering.
 
Legal entities which are not registered in Portugal must have a branch in the country, too, in order to be able to obtain this type of license.
 
Our company registration agents in Portugal can assist entrepreneurs who are interested in opening a gambling company in Portugal.
 

What limitations are placed on customers of gambling activities in Portugal?

 
Land-based gambling activities in Portugal, namely games of chance (casinos and bingo halls), have to respect the following restrictions placed on their customers:
 
  1. The minimum age for entering these facilities and playing is fixed at minimum 18 years;
  2. The limitation and prohibition on certain individuals to attend the gambling activities based on the fact that these individuals have positions of responsibility in public authorities;
  3. The limitation and prohibition for entering these facilities and playing for individuals who are self-excluded or banned from gambling by the authorities or by a court decision;
  4. The limitation and prohibition of persons who are employed by casinos to take part in the game;
  5. Other limitations: we can provide more information on what these other limitations are.
 
If you need further details on the gambling laws and regulations in Portugal, or for help in setting up a company in Portugal, please get in touch with us.

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