Portuguese poker licenses will be delayed

The online poker market in Portugal has been suffering cessations and delays.

Gaming operators have been anxiously awaiting for the Portuguese authorities’ decisions since November.

Portugal.- Online poker offerings in the European country could be giving a step forward to a new gaming regime. Gaming Regulation and Inspection services –Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ)– has been meeting with national operators and organisers to determine a framework of international liquidity for online poker. However, the major entity announced the delay of the first round of licensing until June.

Last year, the gaming law was modified by SRIJ in order to revamp the system. Since then, over 86 online operators –including William Hill and PokerStars– left Portugal. Another reason to leave was the increment in taxes for 15 to 30 percent on the gross revenue. The new measures were rejected by the National Association of Online bettors –Associação Nacional de Apostadores Online (ANAon)–, which boosted customers to boycott the current poker websites.

After the discussion, the Gaming Regulator and the National Association established a few meetings to reach a solution. So far, the promise of further licenses at the middle of the year is the only agreement made. SRIJ is still trying to create a perfect model for small market competition in a globalised online economy. Furthermore, plans to regain the attraction of international poker operators must be developed soon.