Active Players: 2.059.011
Regulated Gambling Products: Sports betting, horse racing betting, casino games, poker, bingo, lotteries
Operator Types: Licensed land-based and online bookmakers & casinos - illegal operators functioning without a license
Designated Authority: Comissão de Jogos / Serviço de Regulação Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ)
Status: Fully regulated
Just like in many other European countries, gambling is part of the Portuguese culture for several decades. The first real steps towards the regulation of the betting landscape were taken back in 1961; when the charity foundation Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML) was given the exclusive right to organize and regulate all Portugal betting activities. But things have changed a lot since then and especially after the implementation of the Decree-Law no. 66 in 2015; that officially regulated the online betting environment and opened the market to international operators. Nonetheless, due to the high tax rates, only 11 bookies have applied for a local license. The licensees have to pay 8-16% tax on their betting turnover, therefore they are forced to offer lower odds. Several Portuguese punters prefer the non-licensed bookmakers due to higher odds and more attractive bonuses.
Bet in Portugal - 5 things to know
- Currently, there are only 11 licensed online sports betting operators in Portugal
- Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa pays a 50% lower tax compared to foreign licensees
- Portugal betting sites are taxed between 8% and 16% of their turnover
- Players are not taxed on their winnings
- Around 68% of Portuguese punters prefer to play on unlicensed foreign operators
Best Portugal betting sites
The following shortlist consists of the best betting sites Portugal has to offer. We selected them because they have high odds, take Multibanco deposits and their website is optimized in Portuguese.
Online betting in Portugal: The gambling law framework
In the early 2000’s Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML) managed to extend its monopoly in the online betting Portugal sector. More specifically, with the implementation of the Legislative Decree 282 in 2003, SCML was the only one that was granted a license to operate online in Portugal. The local authorities blocked the operators that kept accepting Portuguese punters.
Things took a turn for the better in 2015 when the Portuguese authorities took a decisive step towards the liberalization of the local gambling market, as they decided to issue licenses for international bookmakers. On April 29, 2015, the Decree-Law no. 66 was introduced and the Legal Regime of Online Gambling and Betting (RJO) was established. As of June 28, 2015, when it officially came into force; this is the main regulatory Act of every online betting activity in the country. It is also worth noting that the RJO got amended three times since it came into effect, with the latest being on December 29, 2017.
Furthermore, all legal bookies that offer sports betting in Portugal, have received a license issued by the Comissão de Jogos, which is the country’s gambling regulator, along with the Serviço de Regulação Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ). On the other hand, there are multiple international bookmakers that accept Portuguese players and haven’t applied for a license, due to the high taxation imposed on the licensees. Players are excluded from paying taxes on their winnings and face no legal repercussions when betting online on non-licensed bookmakers in Portugal.
Legal Betting Sites in Portugal
If you are asking yourself ‘what betting sites work in Portugal’ and you want to go by the book, there are some specific choices available. Betclic.pt, Bet.pt, Luckia.pt, Placard.pt, Nossaaposta.pt, Betano.pt, Casinoportugal.pt, Solverde.pt, Estorilsolcasinos.pt, Betway.pt and Moosh.pt are the eleven licensed online bookmakers you can access at the moment.
The most common deposit method among Portuguese punters is Multibanco. Through this interbank payment system players are able to make instant bank transfer deposits without any charge. Its only disadvantage is the fact that it cannot be used as a withdrawal method. Apart from Multibanco, credit/debit card payments are also very popular and the same happens with all the other popular international payment methods, such as e-wallets like Neteller and Skrill and vouchers, such as Paysafecard.
Despite the regulation of the online market that took place in 2015, only 11 bookies operate with a local license and most of the biggest brands in the world like Bwin and Betfair decided to exit Portugal. This is due to the 8-16% tax on gross profit imposed on the licensees, which makes the market non-attractive. Big international brands don’t plan to apply for a license unless the authorities lower the tax rates. However, this doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon. Therefore, Portuguese punters will keep on betting on international betting sites that don’t hold a local license but have considerably higher odds.
Complete List of Portuguese betting sites
Bet365 is one of the biggest global brands that hasn’t applied for a Portuguese license. However, it accepts local players and offers them 45+ sports to bet on, along with a 94%+ overall payout.
In case you wanted to access Betrally PT, we have some bad news for you. The bookmaker has ceased its operations, therefore it stopped accepting players from all over the world and of course from Portugal too.
Betfair is one of the famous international brands that doesn’t operate within the online betting Portugal market. Thus, Betfair Portugal, doesn’t have a sportsbook or an exchange that accepts local bettors.
Since all the licensed bookmakers are already paying high taxes, players’ winnings are not subject to an income tax or any other type of tax.
Gambling in Portugal is legal since April 29, 2015 when the Decree-Law no.66, which is in force until today, was officially introduced and the Regime Jurídico dos Jogos e Apostas Online (RJO) was established.
Yes, 22Bet Portugal is among the popular international bookies that operate in the country although it doesn't have a local license. It offers a website optimized in Portuguese, 48+ sports to bet on and 97%- payout on football.