Portugal's bid to liberalise and regulate its online gambling market moved another important pace forward this week with the news that the national parliament has approved the empowering legislation, which gives the proposed regulator (see previous reports) 180 days to set up shop and frame the regulations and tax and licensing process.
The European Commission's approval of the final legislation is also awaited, but Portuguese sources say this should be a formality.
The new legislation largely does away with the monopoly enjoyed by the national lottery Santa Casa da Misericordia, and observers expect the tax burdens to be significant for operators in the Portuguese market.
There have been predictions that online sports betting operators could face up to 16 percent taxation on GGR, with casino gaming licensees hammered even heavier at up to 30 percent.
The Remote Gaming Association, a European trade body that represents the interests of online gambling operators, has already been critical of proposed Portuguese tax rates, warning that the rates being bruited about would make the market untenable for operators, and that special tax rates for the retained retail sports betting activities of Santa Casa da Misericordia are unfair (see previous reports).