Online gamblers urge Portuguese Government to rethink tax laws

  • Portugal’s National Association of Online Gamblers urges government to rethink tax laws
  • It is revealed that one operator has had as much as two thirds of revenue claimed

A group of online gamblers in Portugal are calling on the Government to change its tax laws on online casino gambling after two thirds of betting company Betclic’s revenue was claimed.

portugal betclic

Portugal’s National Association of Online Gamblers (ANAon) plans to present a petition with 4,600 signatures to the government, which argues that taxes on online gambling should be heavily reduced on locally licensed operators.

66% of revenue claimed

Betclic Everest Group were the first company to receive an online sports betting license in Portugal but director Humbert Michaud said taxes had claimed nearly 66% of Betclic’s Portuguese revenue to date.

Hichaud has argued that this has left the gambling operator with slim profits and little money to pay for marketing, insisting that the company may have to consider its future in the country if tax relief is not introduced.

Online casino and poker operators licensed in Portugal pay a variable tax rate, starting with sites generating less than €5m a year in revenue paying a rate of 15% and growing as revenue increases, reaching a maximum of 30%.

Online sports betting operators face different tax laws however. The first €30m of turnover, not just betting revenue, is taxed at 8% which can eventually reach 16% depending on how much is made by the company. Betclic however insist the money they have lost to tax stretches far further than this.

Online industry reviewed next May

Regulator Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ) recently published a report stating that in the first ten months of the existence of the regulated market, the government had claimed nearly half of the €82.2m revenue generated by the then six online licensees.

The SRIJ issued a seventh license to Sociedade Figueira Praia on Monday and also said on Tuesday at the EGR Global-hosted Online Gambling Brief Portugal that 16 additional applications were being vetted and considered. The SRIJ insists that the online industry will be reviewed next May but ANAon say an urgent review is needed into the tax laws to make them fairer for online betting companies.

ANAon argues that the introduction of a commonplace tax as oppose to the current turnover tax on betting revenue will attract more operators to the country as they will be able to offer better odds to punters.

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