RGA criticises Portuguese Government of creating “punitive taxes” and “unviable conditions”

Clive Hawkswood
Clive Hawkswood

Gambling trade association – Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has labelled the Portuguese Governments plans to implement a 8-16% revenue tax on sports betting operators as “punitive” and “unviable”.

The association has raised concerns about Portugal’s current draft igaming proposal and its amendments, which are currently being reviewed by Portuguese parliament legislators. Portugal had planned to liberalise its sports betting market, allowing licensed foreign operators to enter.

Currently Portugal operates a sports betting monopoly controlled by state owned operator – Santa Casa da Misericórdia

The RGA issued a statement that its members were concerned   that the online sports betting rate, which is higher than the average 4.5% turnover rate applied to Santa Casa. The RGA believe that the government are nor creating the right conditions for a free market to operate and allow foreign investment.

Members were further concerned that on top of unviable tax rates, state owned Santa Casa would receive 27% of online tax receipts, something the RGA has claimed would constitute a payment of illegal state aid.

Clive Hawkswood, RGA backed member concerns over Portugals sports betting regulations by commenting

“Such a differential has the potential to create a situation of substantial illegal state aid being granted to Santa Casa by the Portuguese government whilst also destroying any hope for fair competition in a future regulated online sports betting government.

“The RGA would welcome the opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Portuguese government to ensure a level playing field for all online sports betting operators seeking to obtain licenses.”

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