Online gambling in Portugal

As a member of the European Union, (“EU member”), any discussion of the online gambling legal and regulatory environment in Portugal necessitates consideration of overarching EU law. A central tenet of EU law, (as set out in the EU treaty) is the freedom to provide services, which dictates that EU members can’t enact laws prohibiting a service (including online gambling) provided by another EU Member based operator when locally based monopoly operations are permitted.  Where EU Member laws are in breach of EU law, the European Commission may commence infringement proceedings including referral of the matter to the European Court of Justice.

A number of EU Members have in the past tried to put in place prohibitory online gambling laws and attracted the ire of the EC (France, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands to name a few). Portugal is another that has to date enforced a protectionist ban on foreign operators while sanctioning the operations of local monopoly betting organization Santa Casa.

In 2008 a Portuguese court ruled that foreign operator Bwin (Gibraltar licensed) was unable to sponsor Liga Portugesa de Futebol Profissional. Bwin was fined accordingly. Bwin challenged this decision and it was referred to the ECJ for consideration as to whether online gambling laws and the related Santa Casa ruling breached EU law.

Further details of Portuguese gaming regulations may be found at the website of the Inspectorate General of Gaming.

[Update September 2009]

On 8 September 2009 the ECJ ruled in favor of the Portuguese government, saying that protection of a State run monopoly through restrictive laws is legal where such protection is in the public interest. This decision, widely referred to as the Santa Casa case, has been significant in the development of law and policy related to online gambling market in Europe.

[Update October 2013]

In October 2013, the Portuguese Government (Troika) announced plans to legalize online gambling in an effort to raise much needed revenues.

[Update March 2015]

On 28 February 2015, Portugal’s Council of Ministers approved new online gambling laws, paving the way to operators based outside the country to obtain a license to operate within the Portuguese iGaming market. Onerous gaming tax rates (15% to 30% of gross gaming revenues for casino and poker, 8% to 16% of turnover for sports betting) are predicted to discourage may operators from applying for a license.

[Update July 2015]

On 28 June 2015 Portugal’s new online gambling laws/regulations came into effect.

Best live casino for Portuguese players

The below casinos with live dealers offer EURO banking as well as Portuguese language support.

Live casinos for Portuguese players
Players from your location accepted
Player access
Deposits accepted and/or can maintain account in local currency
Toll free numbers from your country
Toll free support
local language site/support capabilities
Local language
games regionally focused


Read review | Visit
No restrictions on Portuguese player sign-ups No deposit restrictions.
Can maintain account in EURO
Yes Full Portuguese language website and support capability EU and Asian based dealer studios with blackjack, baccarat, roulette & baccarat variations.


Read review | Visit
No restrictions on sign -ups from Portugal No deposit restrictions.
Can maintain account in EURO
No Full Portuguese language website and support capability European based dealer room with Euro centric games.