How does the Portuguese casino license work?

Compared to most EU countries, Portugal has been online casino-friendly for a while. While most countries of the Union are still in the process of field regulation, this country legalized online gambling way back in 2015. Since then, online casinos are allowed to operate in the country. Naturally, they have to pay taxes and fulfill certain requirements. 

Fortunately, those requirements aren’t much different compared to other countries that legalized online gambling. Moreover, things are quite typical, so the government act called Regime Jurídico dos Jogos e Apostas regulates all common ways of online gambling, such as online casinos, sports betting, lottery etc. Before that, the market was monopolized by the National Lottery, while games of chances were mostly played on off-shore websites.

Read more about gambling in Portugal at 

How about taxes?

The new act has brought a typical licensing system, where there is a government regulatory body that issues licenses. Of course, paying taxes is another requirement and this is one of the aspects that seem unfair if we look at different areas of online gambling. For example, sports betting operators are taxed between 8% and 16% of the total revenue, while online casinos have to double the sum and pay between 15% and 30% of the revenue. The latest reports suggest this could be changed in the near future.

Speaking of the taxes, players aren’t in a much better position either. You may count on a 25% stamp duty on bingo prize, while the same percentage stands for online casino and horse racing. Once again, sports betting is in a better position, as these winnings are taxed at 8%.

What about unlicensed websites?

This may be the reason while there is still a big number of Portuguese citizens who still enjoy online casino games on off-shore websites. Officially, this is forbidden but the government still doesn’t prosecute for gambling on an unlicensed platform, probably because of the lack of capacity.

Types of licenses

When it comes to licensing and requirements, the responsible regulatory body is called Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal. It issues licenses and sets criteria. Also, we should mention that it recognizes four groups of online gambling. Those are quite typical and refer to: 

  • fixed-odds sports betting
  • totalisator, parimutiel and fixed-odds horserace betting
  • bingo 
  • games of chance (read: online casino), which include baccarat, punto banco, French Banque; blackjack; slot machines; poker in tournament mode; poker “Omaha”, “hold’em”, roulette and other typical casino games


Every operator who wants to operate in this country needs to meet certain requirements and a good thing is that those criteria are quite typical and not much different compared to other European countries that have regulated online gambling. The regulatory body requires the operator to meet certain financial, economic, and technical conditions, which make it capable of providing such a service. 

Furthermore, there is a thing called a project of gambling technical systems. This would practically mean that software is designed in a way that it can meet all legal requirements and also in the accordance with the best practice of the industry. 


Interestingly, operators still can’t apply for the license online. One of the possible ways at this moment is in the traditional, paper form. The other one is to send documentation via e-mail, in PDF format.

Surprisingly, loot boxes are still not recognized as gambling, but that’s the case in many other EU countries as well.

Last Updated on June 22, 2021