Portugal: new gambling laws approved

By Nuno Azevedo Neves, Partner, ABBC & Associados, Lisbon

Further to the recent developments and discussion on the online gambling and gambling related activities legal framework, the Council of Ministers approved, on 26 February 2015, new gambling regulations.

(i)   The new Online Gambling legal framework (RJO) containing legal solutions and principles aiming to pursue public interests objectives as ensuring the protection of minors and vulnerable people, preventing fraud and money laundering, preventing the practice of crimes regarding online gaming and ensuring the sport integrity. The operation of online gambling is granted to all entities complying with specific legal requirements on good repute and economic, financial and technical capacity;

(ii)   The “land-based” sports betting (odd-types) legal framework, granting to Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa the exclusive right of operation for the entire territory;

(iii)   The legal framework (a) for the operation and practice of “land-based” horse betting; (b) on the attribution and exploitation of the horse courses authorized to organize horse races subject to betting; and (iii) on the horse races subject to betting. The exclusive right to operate “land-based” horse betting for the entire territory was granted to Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa;

(iv)  Amendments to bingo legal framework aiming to follow the technological evolution, including the new way of providing the game through electronic support.

(v)   Amendments to the Game Law on the rules related to the attribution of concessions. The right to provide games of chance is reserved to the State. However, the operation may be granted trough concession to private corporate entities, incorporated as public limited companies (or equivalent), with headquarters in a Member State of the European Union or in a country party to the European Economic Area Agreement bound to administrative cooperation on taxation and fraud and money laundering combating. Foreign entities must incorporate a subsidiary in Portugal. The concession for the operation of games of chance in casinos is granted through public tender or procedure with pre-qualification.

If you would like more information on this, contact Nuno Azevedo Neves at ABBC (n.neves@abbc.pt).