Upcoming Changes in Portugal and Poland Online Gambling Laws

27 June 2014

Online casino software solutions for operators could soon be allowed in Portugal, after the Council of Ministers approved a plan that would legalize online casinos, sports betting and poker in the country. Fortunately, foreign casino operators who will be willing to apply for a gambling license in Portugal will be allowed to do so, according to lawmakers’ declarations.

The ministry of tourism will be the regulatory authority that would oversee online gambling activities. At this point in time, all forms of gaming and betting in Poland, including the 10 brick-and-mortar casinos in the country, are supervised and regulated by the Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Lisboa.

More than that, operators who want to purchase online casino software solutions and run online gambling businesses in Portugal would be required to offer information regarding players to the Inspecção-Geral de Jogos. Portugal has put the emphasis on the social costs that could appear when online gaming activities are legalized.

Thus, the measures taken against excessive gambling will include creating a blacklist that would contain players’ personal data. Individuals who show signs of problem gambling would be banned from online casinos and even restricted from entering land-based casinos.

Experts said that operators who implement online casino software solutions would offer gaming enthusiasts who visit online casinos a much less intimidating environment, where they can play gambling games without having to show up at a pretentious land-based casino. The government also declared that online gambling taxes, which could range from 15 percent to 30 percent, would be redirected to cultural development and sports activities.

Poland regulators have also decided to modify the current gambling regulatory regime in the country. No online casino software solutions for gaming sites in Poland are allowed yet, but online sports betting is legal in the country since 2011. Even so, only four sports betting operators run their businesses in the Polish gaming market, mainly because of the restrictive regulatory framework.

The European Commission has even criticized the Polish Gambling Act, which supposedly did not comply with European Union principles of open trade. In order to attract more online operators, the government would introduce an amendment to the Polish Gambling Act.

Like so, gaming companies would be allowed to maintain a local office for tax purposes, without having to run a subsidiary in Poland. Thus, gambling companies who run their businesses within the EU, as well as companies located in Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland, would be eligible for Polish gambling licenses. 

27 June 2014

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