Portugal's licensor for gaming, the “Comissao de Jogos do Turismo” (SRJI), has granted the gaming company Betway a gaming license. This allows the company and its offshoot GM Gaming Ltd. Offer online sports betting and online gambling games in Portugal.
This makes the country the eighth European market in which Betway is active. The company has been active in Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Denmark and Spain.
When Betway is planning its product launch is currently unknown. However, experts expect Betway to be able to offer its offers to Portuguese players by the end of February 2020.
Although higher tax rates have made it more difficult for online bookmakers and online casinos to operate, Betway seems to see great potential in the Portuguese market. This assumption is not unjustified.
On February 4, 2020, Portugal's gaming regulator announced online gambling sales in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The bottom line was income of 65.4 million euros. With a sales increase of 52.1%, sports betting sales in particular broke all records. The segment is particularly interesting for Betway due to its in-house game portfolio.
Good news after a lot of criticism?
Betway investors are likely to have welcomed the news of Portugal's expansion. In the end, the company had not only made positive headlines.
Player protectors accused Betway of having targeted problem players through VIP programs and encouraging them to gamble. Critics also criticized the non-transparent corporate structure of the gaming provider.
As the British newspaper Daily Mail reported earlier this month, Betway was licensed in the UK, but the real owners were hiding behind mailbox companies based in Malta, the British Virgin Islands and Guernsey.
Gambling has been around for millennia. It couldn't be more different in its form, because the list of categories such as card games or dice games is endless. Throughout history, however, the location of these games has moved to what we now call a casino. In the further course and with the invention of the Internet and its frenzied development, the location of the action has shifted again: to the Internet.
Online gambling as a huge market
The shift to the Internet had been forecast for a long time and online gambling, with its 39 billion euros in sales per year, still does not reach that of classic gambling (around 329 billion euros), I would have to bet, but I would bet that the online market would be one Day will be bigger than the local market.
Gambling licenses in Germany
The advantage is particularly clear compared to Germany: in most federal states, no permits are issued at all. This fact is based on the State Treaty on Gambling from 2007, which stipulates that the state has a monopoly on gambling. The contract expired at the end of 2011, but only Schleswig-Holstein subsequently changed its handling of gaming licenses and since then has only granted a few permits to applicants.
What is surely not yet known to many: after the expiry of the old state treaty, a new one was drawn up that maintains the monopoly of the state, but less strictly than before. In a current award procedure, 20 licenses are now to be awarded. However, no award has yet been made to date (December 2017), as there were several errors in the concession procedure against which applicants who had left empty-handed successfully complained. In particular, the freedom of competition regulated by the EU was not taken into account in the award procedure.
Incidentally, this is similar in most other EU countries. With a few exceptions, including Malta, the state has a gambling monopoly, which makes it impossible for companies to obtain a gaming license there. Italy even went so far as to punish the use of foreign gaming services before the European Court of Justice annulled the law.
Nowhere in Europe is it more attractive to offer an online gaming service than in Malta. Both through the good basic requirements that the country offers internationally operating companies, as well as through the attractive tax handling of a company in Malta. If you are planning on starting an online gaming service or expanding with your company, please feel free to write me a message. Together we will then analyze your plans and discuss whether and, if so, in what constellation Malta can make sense for you. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.