Online Casino Portugal • Full Gambling Info

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The background to the development of gambling-driven entertainment in Portugal begins in 1783, when the first lottery, which had the status of national, appeared. The motive for founding the lottery in Portugal was charity, not direct commercial gain.

Portugal has a long history of legal gambling-driven entertainment and a high level of gambling tolerance. Classic gambling-driven establishments have existed in the country for over 100 years, online casinos became officially allowed not that long ago. But de facto the online services market in Portugal began operating in the summer of 2016.

The history of the actual gambling-driven business in Portugal began more than a hundred years ago – from the opening of the first casino in Figueira da Foch in 1904. The period of the gambling-driven industry in the country coincided with political changes – in 1910 the monarchist form of government gave way to a republican one in Portugal with the subsequent stage of instability that extended to the status of gambling-driven establishments. The bans on gambling-driven entertainment alternated with legalization, until in 1926 António Salazar came to power. That is he who established the regime of the so-called “New State (Estado Novo)”, which lasted until 1974. It was during this period that the legitimacy of gambling-driven entertainment was not questioned in Portugal, and most Portuguese casinos opened. After the fall of the “New State” part, casinos in Portugal experienced a short period of nationalization, but by the end of the 1970s all gambling-driven establishments were returned to private hands due to the inefficiency of state administration.

During the 1980s, gambling-driven entertainment legislation, adopted in 1989 and establishing clear rules for the operation of casinos, was developed. With the advent and spread of the Internet, Portuguese citizens were not priority customers of international online operators because of the relative economic backwardness of Portugal and, as a result, the poverty of the population. Nevertheless, the Portuguese had the opportunity to use the services of foreign operators, especially with the introduction of euro in 2002. Since the beginning of the 2000s, the government of Portugal has increasingly begun to think about legalizing gambling-driven online business. This culminated in the adoption of a special law in 2015.

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List of 25 Online Casinos in Portugal

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Types of Online Casino in Portugal

Sometimes it seems that online casinos flooded the entire Internet. And this is not strange. Today there are many different slot models in Portugal, thanks to which you can not only earn, but also have a great time. The popularity of slot models in Portugal is huge. Customers are attracted by their design, simplicity, huge jackpots, the availability of a wide variety of bets and much more. In this case, almost all users in Portugal are interested, first of all, how to win at the casino.

Saying the word “casino”, in the minds of some people in Portugal there are images of elegantly decorated halls and visitors in expensive clothes. Others imagine home, computer, soft slippers and electronic game system. In fact, these are two different and, at the same time, very similar types of institutions. And they differ only in the form of external expression. Differences of an online club and a real house are manifested in:

  • Opportunities to make bets directly using a gadget, without being personally present at the gaming table in Portugal.
  • Mandatory availability of the portal software on the basis of which the game is made. There is a small number of exceptions in Portugal, when a client of a club plays directly with a croupier, for example, considering roulette. But even in this case, the basic procedure of rates and cash transactions is carried out via the Internet in Portugal.
  • The presence of a demo version of slots. Speaking of online casinos, what they are and how they work in Portugal, there is always mentioned the unique opportunity to make bets in free mode. Such testing devices are available to every guest of the site, so you can experiment without investment and risk, which real clubs in Portugal cannot boast of.

The main procedures of a virtual institution in Portugal are carried out directly on the network. To manage the methods of input and output (deposit and withdrawal), the user will have to learn how to manipulate cards, bank and electronic accounts.

Moreover, the demand for live casino is steadily growing today – more and more people for whom real homes of excitement are unavailable in Portugal have the opportunity to touch the mysterious world of gambling. And this is due to the special method of access to the services of interest – the virtual one, which showed itself only from the best side.

Playing in the live format in Portugal means visiting a live casino with a live dealer, where the participant makes bets, asks questions, wins or loses, being at this time on a comfortable home sofa. Moreover, the location of the gamer does not matter, so it can be public transport, a cafe, a line to a dentist, a barber shop or an office.

The main condition is a stable Internet connection, as well as any gadget – a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop or any other device. And nothing else is needed, unless the money that will be useful to make bets.

Live means a real-time casino where that will be impossible to predict the outcome of the round. You can choose the game, the dealer and rivals with whom to compete in Portugal. Besides, you can choose not taking anyone into the company at all – then the opponent will be your dealer in the guise of a beautiful girl, less often a male representative acts as a croupier.

As entertainment, the most popular types of gambling-driven software are offered – baccarat, roulette, lotto, poker, blackjack. Moreover, they are all in various modifications that are so loved by users in Portugal. This can be an accelerated, improved, multi-user variation or a classic version.

The session goes in real time – there is no record or template, and all actions occur for real in Portugal. A stickman girl can remove a stray curl, smile in response to your joke, or make a joke.

Types of Casino Games for Portuguese Gamblers

Taking into account all existing types of online gambling in Portugal, it is worth noting that the most popular games among players of Portugal are cards, roulette, bingo and slots.

Cards are games with the use of playing cards, characterized by a random initial state, to determine which a deck of cards is used. Video poker, Black Jack, Baccarat, Poker, Fool, Solitaire – all these are gambling-driven card games.

Roulette is a gambling-driven game that has a 36-room playing field, on which they make bets and a drum, where a ball launched by a croupier or a mechanism (electronic automatic, pneumatic roulette) rolls as a result of falling into a cell in the opposite direction. The main types of roulette games are European, American and French roulette.

Bingo is a gambling game, the elements of which are a rotating drum with numbered balls from 1 to 90 or 75, depending on the type of the game, and playing cards consisting of 9 cells in three rows of five random sets of numbers each (5 cells of 5 rows in the American version with 24 random numbers). The player who first filled the entire playing field is the winner and says “bingo”. Also, the winning is brought by each matched number of numbers horizontally, comparing which the player pronounces “line”.

It is also worth noting that the game slots truly won the hearts of gamblers of Portugal.

Slot models online in Portugal are virtual and original demo versions of slot models from real casinos, executed in the format of Flash technologies and html5, which makes it easy to start the game without downloading, online from a computer or mobile devices – phones, tablets. Most of the game slots are used only in online casinos. The concept of a gaming machine (slot machine) is a gaming box, consists of three or more rotating reels with symbols and graphic images, which are gradually immobilized into a line or lines of play to form combinations of symbols for which the multiplication rate is provided.

Slot models are the most popular games of chance in Portugal. Among users, it is possible to determine the following favorite slots:

  • Beach Life;
  • Thunderstruck II;
  • Blade;
  • Gladiator;
  • Dragon’s Myth.

Beach Life is a five-drum gaming machine from Playtech. It offers 20 bonus lines, a jackpot, and a bonus game with multipliers.

Thunderstruck II is a Microgaming slot machine. It contains 5 reels and offers 243 ways to win. Four levels of free spins with different features are also provided. A bonus game turns the drums into completely “wild” ones.

Blade is a five-reel slot from Playtech. Here there is a chance to get free spins with a win multiplier up to x5 and additional wild symbols. The bonus game adds winning symbols to the winning combinations. Here progressive jackpot is also available.

Gladiator is a five-drum gaming machine from Playtech with 25 paylines. Jackpot bonus game and bonus game with the ability to choose a prize are offered: free spins, multipliers, additional symbols.

Dragon’s Myth is a five-reel Rabcat slot. The user here is invited to collect four dragons to launch the bonus, as well as get free spins and a bonus game with counting combinations in both directions.

Online Gambling Laws and Regulations in Portugal

Gambling-driven entertainment in the country is governed by two legislative acts adopted in 1989 and 2011. Important changes were made in 2007 (poker was added to the list of allowed games) and in 2015 (the procedure for licensing online operators was legalized in Portugal).

The law allows the organization and conduct of gambling-driven entertainment only within the boundaries of ten specific casino zones in Portugal. Exceptions are negotiated with the authorities and relate to the following cases:

  • Organization of games on ships and aircrafts registered in Portugal. This possibility is allowed, but only if the vehicle is physically located outside Portuguese territory;
  • Holding non-bank games (for example, lotteries) during sports, cultural, entertainment events that attract tourists;
  • Installation of gaming machines in places where tourists gather (primarily in hotels in Portugal).

On June 29, 2015, a new law came into force concerning the legalization of gambling-driven games organized on the Internet. The list of entertainment has been approved, the procedure for licensing online operators has been established, and the size of tax deductions has been cleared out in Portugal. In particular, poker rooms and online casinos are required to pay taxes from 15 to 30% of income, and bookmakers – from 8 to 16% of turnover. The organization of any gambling-driven entertainment in Portugal must be licensed by a regulator. The licensing procedure is competitive, that is, permission is given to the company that won the open tender. In some cases justified by the situation, the decision to issue a license is made by the regulator without competition. The conditions for obtaining and validity of the license  in Portugal are detailed in a number of regulations. Supervision over the activities of operators is carried out constantly by representatives of the regulator. This means that inspections of gambling-driven entertainment establishments (in particular, casinos) are not carried out periodically, but during the entire time that the inspector is always at work.

The legalization of gambling-driven online business in 2015 immediately led to the departure from the Portuguese market of international companies Betfair, 888, Rational Group (operator of PokerStars and Full Tilt) and William Hill. Working in the “gray” zone, without a license of the national regulator, and not bearing responsibility to local fiscal authorities, after the adoption of the law, international operators became illegal and violate tax laws in Portugal. This is an interesting feature of the Portuguese experience in regulating the online market – for many years, while there were no legal Internet operators, the citizens of Portugal were not forbidden to register and play on international websites. Moreover, the liberal attitude towards the provision of services by foreign operators in Portugal was even consolidated by a special decision of the Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal de Justiça) in 2009. The first compliant online casino Estoril Sol Casinos was launched in July 2016. Following the Portuguese operator’s license for the provision of gambling-driven entertainment services by electronic channels, the Maltese company Bet Entertainment Technologies, the French company Betclic Everest Group and REEL Europe Ltd, the company representing the Canadian corporation Amaya, received a license. The latest permit has opened the country’s market for the largest poker site PokerStars. The list of games allowed on online resources in Portugal in many respects repeats the list of entertainment for the casino, with two differences:

  • Online places can practice betting;
  • Online poker is only possible in non-bank and stud variations.

The online gaming market in Portugal is in a state of formation. In particular, the Portuguese regulator at the beginning of this year completed the process of harmonizing technical standards for the work of operators. Now they must be approved by the European Commission.

Best Deposit Methods for Portuguese Gamblers

To play for money in an online casino, you must register and replenish your account. Thus, users are offered to use multiple methods of depositing and withdrawing money and various payment systems in Portugal. But how to determine which option is optimal? You can answer this question yourself and choose the most convenient option if you consider the pros, cons and nuances of each method.

To ensure the safe deposit of money and the withdrawal of winning funds, players use VISA / MasterCard bank cards. This is quite a convenient way, since almost all users have bank cards. Cons include delays in payments to the card, limits on withdrawal and the possible commission for processing.

Electronic payment system, namely WebMoney, is very popular among domestic users. This is a common and secure way to deposit to a casino. An additional advantage is the minimum commission of 0.8%. The system guarantees a variety of currencies for settlement, supporting ruble, hryvnia, dollar, euro and other wallets. Accordingly, when playing in multi-currency casinos, using WebMoney is as practical as possible in Portugal.

Regarding the minuses, the following points should be highlighted: the system does not support direct exchange with many popular payment systems, the administration can block the wallet and at the discretion, certain restrictions are available.

In 2013, the English Moneybookers payment system was renamed Skrill and became a popular service for making electronic payment transactions and transfers in Portugal. The advantages of the system are as follows: it implies instant money deposit / withdrawal at online casinos and bookmakers; for payment, it is enough to specify your email and password.

As minuses of Skrill, you can allocate a fee for sending money to another account in the amount of 1%. Recall, considering Webmoney, this parameter is 0.8%.

In many countries of the world, in the sphere of gambling-driven entertainment, Neteller system is used for depositing and withdrawing funds, since it does not imply commissions, and Portugal is no exception. Accordingly, it is supported by almost all online casinos, bookmakers, poker rooms and other gaming resources.

We have reviewed the main payment systems in online casinos in Portugal, but there are other, equally common ones. For example: AstroPay Card, POLi, Euteller, UseMyFunds, Trustly, Ukash, PugglePay, Siru Mobile, Paysafe Card and others.

Accepted Currencies in Portugal

The history of the national currency in Portugal begins at the end of the 14th century, when the Portuguese real was introduced into circulation by King Fernand I. This monetary unit was official in the country until 1911, later it was replaced because of the revolution in Portugal.

The Portuguese escudo came to replace the real, which existed as the national currency until 2002. It was replaced by the single European currency, the euro. Escudo was divided into a hundred centavo. Today, the official currency in Portugal is the euro, so there are no problems with exchanging money for people arriving in Portugal.

The modern currency of Portugal is externally identical to those of the euro, which are used in most EU countries. One euro equals one hundred cents. In circulation in Portugal, there are metal coins in denominations of from 0.01 to two €. Paper banknotes in Portugal are issued in denominations of five, ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred, two hundred and five hundred euros.

Experimentally, the euro was introduced for use in cashless transactions as early as January 1999, but cash began to be used in 2002. Portugal became one of the first countries to switch from a national currency to a common European one. This transition was beneficial for the country in economic terms, since the national currency of Portugal was unstable and not very popular on the world currency market. The euro has stabilized the financial structure in Portugal, as well as simplified exchange and other currency transactions, making Portugal even more attractive not only for tourists, but also for gambling-driven entertainment players of the whole country.

Predictions About the Future of Online Gambling in Portugal

The gambling-driven business in Portugal is legalized – both the offline and online market. Annual gross revenue from the casino of Portugal is more than 288 million EUR. There are 11 casinos here. Unlike neighboring Spain, slot models bring the greatest income. The share of slots in the revenue from the industry is 81%.

In Portugal, there are so-called gambling-driven zones. Only they can accommodate existing casinos in Portugal. Types of games are governed by separate legislation adopted in the 1990s and 2000s. Three organizations deal with the gambling-driven entertainment business: Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ), Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML), The Gambling Commission (Comissão de Jogos).

Each organization performs its functions in monitoring and controlling the gambling-driven business in Portugal.

There is no data about any Portuguese developers of slot models and casino software. But the gambling-driven market itself is developing successfully in Portugal, bringing substantial profits to the state treasury. The model with gaming zones, apparently, justified its existence.

The prospects for the development of the gambling-driven market of Portugal are generally estimated to be low. The casino segment from quarter to quarter shows fluctuations of a few percent, increasing or decreasing gross income. Since the opening of new establishments in Portugal is not planned in the near future, this trend will continue. Lottery shows a constant increase. Most of the tickets are sold through a retail network (96.9%). But the entry of online operators into the Portuguese market and the offer of sports betting can change the balance of power due to the novelty effect. Online games, in turn, are in the process of formation, strongly dependent on the bureaucratic features of the Portuguese and European legal field.

However, it is also important to note that the Portuguese clients of online services have for years successfully used open access to French, Spanish and other sites. Therefore, the new operators, who came to Portugal after the legalization of online games, will have to work hard to create a local customer base.

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Last Updated: Sep 14, 2021

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