It isn’t unusual for a country that allows gambling on its territory to be a significant tourist destination. For Portugal in particular, this comes as a considerable source of income. In fact, last year’s GDP of Portugal was around $210 billion, and the revenue from online gambling was $122 million – which makes up for 0.05%. This is just a small part of what is about to come in the upcoming years.
The Laws Behind the Gambling Industry – Which Games are Regulated
Online gambling is a fresh phenomenon in Portugal, and it is due to the fact that the government had recently changed it’s gambling laws, which now include online betting. This means that online casinos and sportsbooks are completely legal, licensed, and regulated by the nation’s Regulatory and Inspection Services of Games and Tourism of Portugal or RISGTP administration for short.
While it is somewhat strange that a governing body that answers for tourism in the country would also be responsible for regulating any type of gambling activity, it’s not very surprising. In the regulatory code, it states that “the practice of games of chance may be held only in casinos located in specific law-determined gaming zones”. So far, 10 areas have been approved, every single one of which sees its fair share of tourists.
The Taxes are Merciless
Something that makes a big impression in the online casino and sportsbook sectors is the amount of tax those businesses pay in Portugal. The online gambling tax is 44%, and yes, it is considered to be quite high. Because of that, many economists projected that the online business in the country would decline, but what happened was quite the opposite. Today, there are many new companies lining up to apply for an online gaming license.
Online Gambling Laws are Recent in the Country
In order to be able to start issuing licenses, a government needs to cover a particular set of requirements. Portugal fulfilled its own in 2015. After the legislation was passed, it required testing labs and online operators to obtain licenses in 4 different fields – horse race betting, fixed odds sports betting, bingo, and games of chance, such as poker, roulette, slots, and other casino games. Today, there are many land-based and online gambling venues that provide people with the actions they’re looking for.
Tourism is a Unity of Sports Gambling and Cultural Events
Last year, it was reported that the revenue from tourism in Portugal was around $23 billion – which makes up for almost 11% of the national GDP. This includes entertainment events such as sports games, concerts, and even cultural events. A lot of tourist regions include fascinating beaches and coastlines, castles, shrines, city squares and parks. In truth, Portugal holds around 14 awards as a more preferred tourist destination in more than 10 categories.
Improvement of Social Welfare Programs
It is an all-known-fact that the state of public administrations and social welfare programs in Portugal were in a very poor state even since the beginning of the 90’s. The country is also renowned for having an outstandingly slow and inefficient administrative structure, which results in slow, over-blown bureaucratic proceedings. As the European Union announced its decision to help Portugal out of the financial crisis, measures were taken to improve the government’s overall public system.
Some Challenges Remain to Be Tackled
As Portugal is making its slow recovery from a dynamic decade of financial woes, there are many other issues that await to be resolved. While this is happening, the country continues its steady rise by providing superior tourist destinations and services to its visitors and re-developing its national industries. Despite the difficulties, you can expect many great things to happen for Portugal in the future!