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Join A Top Casino Online in Portugal in 2021

Portugal

As a large part of the tourism industry, gambling in Portugal has always been important, making up around half a percent of tourism revenue in 2019. Due to recent changes, specifically to online gambling law, it is expected that general gambling revenue, and the percentage of tourism revenue it supplies, will increase in coming years. 

Gambling law changes in 2015 saw foreign operators able to provide gambling services in the country for the first time, moving away from the local monopoly that had, until that point, dominated the market. 

In general, Portugal has always been a gambling-friendly country, with the government regulating and taxing all forms of lotteries, casinos, and betting. Ten licenses have been issued for land-based casinos, with nine on the mainland and one based on Madeira. Online sports betting, lotteries, casino gaming and slots are all also legal in Portugal, but only through government-approved websites. There are over 5,000 official websites and kiosks where Portuguese nationals can bet through the governments officially sanctioned operators.

One of the main reasons that Portugal is so open to gambling is the high tax rates imposed on operators, which according to reports finances 62% of the national tourism industry. The driving force behind the new legislation is the intention to raise an additional €25m per year in taxation. This means from now on, local players will have legal access to a huge variety of slot machines and high-quality online casinos in Portuguese. Here are some of our top picks for Portugal’s best online casinos:

Best Casinos Online in Portugal for Legal Gambling in Portugal 2021

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Legal Gambling in Portugal: An Overview

The new legislation marked a sweeping change to the status quo in Portugal and undid the monopoly that had previously existed in the country. The Games Department of Santa Casa de Misericordia (SCML) was responsible for all ‘social games’ in Portugal, which the government defines as sports betting and lotteries. A second group – The Inspector General of Games – was responsible for all other types of gaming, such as bingo, poker, casino games and slot machines.

The government came under increasing pressure from the EU to reform its laws in line with EU free market regulations. However, the Portuguese authorities had resisted and had upheld their monopoly by requiring Internet Service Providers to block any unlicensed websites.

When the framework for the new legislation became public, the Portuguese government made their intentions clear, to ‘sign up as many operators as possible, particularly international operators”. This paved the way for players to able to join licensed casinos online in Portugal, legally and safely.  

It’s all about the Money

As many European countries are discovering, the online market is almost impossible to police, and Portugal took the decision to regulate the industry to try and gain revenue through taxes rather than spend resources on trying to block foreign operators.

Licenses are now be issued by SCML and last for a period of 3 years. They are available for casino games, sports betting, horse racing, poker, and bingo. Prospective licensees have to show that they are reputable and make financial guarantees before they will be permitted to launch an online casino in Portugal. Other stipulations require all operators to have a physical presence in Portugal. Likewise, websites must use a .pt domain and financial transactions must be carried out through a Portuguese bank account.

These factors, combined with the high tax rate compared to other jurisdictions, has resulted in several operators opting to not make forays into the fledgling Portuguese online casino market.

A Taxing Situation

Clearly the main motivation for Portugal introducing new legislation was to earn money from tax revenue, but the government has been criticized for an overly excessive tax regime, which ultimately resulted in some big players leaving the market altogether, similar to what happened in its neighboring country, Spain.

Operators of online gaming services are subject to tax rates ranging from 15% to 30%, while tax on sports betting ranges from 8% to 16%. Crucially, this is based on turnover rather than revenue, which has drawn complaints from some European operators. These operators claim it is be difficult to sustain business in the country, and the claim was bolstered by PriceWaterhouseCoopers who were commissioned to conduct a study on the new regime by the Remote Gaming Association.

The report made for grim reading, suggesting that the refusal to switch to a revenue-bases taxation system could cause up to 4 out of 5 operators to leave the Portuguese online casino market within the first year of the new regulations. A mass exodus, says the report, could cost the Portuguese authorities up to €20m in lost tax revenue.

While some big names have indeed chosen to step away from the industry, the results were not as devastating as expected, and as a result, there is still a wide range of choice for Portuguese players when it comes to online casino options.

Many big-name operators and popular casino sites provide services in the country, and the huge difference between the scene before and after the legislation change has resulted in a hefty increase in online gambling revenue in Portugal.

Nowadays, players can access the best-quality casinos online in Portugal for legal gambling. These regulated sites, such as the ones featured on this page, will offer you a safe yet exciting online gambling experience. Portuguese casinos will even offer you the same excellent choice of bonuses that are available in other countries.

Below, we give you the full lowdown on what games you can play at Portuguese casinos, and the payment methods you can use to deposit and withdraw money hassle free.


Online Casino Software Developers in Portugal

The biggest and most notable difference in the online gambling market in Portugal, outside of the sheer size, is the availability of software from various high-profile developers. 

Previously, big name developers were hesitant to provide their games to the unregulated Portuguese online casinos that were offering games to players in the country. Since regulation has come into place, however, and the bigger operators from outside Portugal have started to cater to the Portuguese market, these games are now available in the country. 

Some of the top developers for Portugal online casino players include:

Evolution Gaming – Evolution Gaming have eyes on the future. While most other developers focus predominantly on slots, Evolution focused immediately on live dealer games, and now offer by far the most impressive live casino portfolio around. Their extensive portfolio features numerous variations of classic games and several innovative and unique titles.

IGT – IGT are creators of classic slot games. The likes of Cleopatra made this developer a big name in Vegas, and the online slot portfolio from IGT has ensured this reputation has made the transition successfully. 

Microgaming – Microgaming are arguably the best known developer in iGaming.  The focus here is mainly on slots, with the likes of Immortal Romance being bonafide classics, and progressive jackpot slots like Mega Moolah offering huge prizes. 

NetEnt – NetEnt made their name with classic slots like Gonzo’s Quest and Starburst, while titles like Motorhead and Planet of the Apes have ensured their reputation is maintained. With an excellent live dealer games suite also available, NetEnt is often the go-to for casino operators looking to broaden their gaming options. 

Playtech – Like Microgaming (Mega Moolah, Mega Moolah Isis) and NetEnt (Mega Fortune, Hall of Gods), Playtech are best known in the current casino market for their progressive jackpot slots. After losing the rights to the Marvel franchise, Playtech bounced back with the Age of the Gods progressive jackpots series, which became some of the most-played games in the online casino world. 

Yggdrasil – In 2013, it was impossible for any new software developer to break through and compete with the top names of the business, but Yggdrasil managed it. With innovative and exciting slots like Vikings Go to Hell, Niagara Falls, and Jackpot Riders, Yggdrasil brought something new to the scene and went from winning best newcomer awards to best casino awards in a single year. 


Popular Payment Methods at Portuguese Gambling Sites

There are numerous payment methods available to players at online casinos in Portugal, but a few stand out as the most popular. Here’s a quick rundown of the common deposit and withdrawal options you’ll find when gambling online in Portugal:

Credit and Debit Cards

The old school way still maintains a decent level of use amongst Portuguese players. The simplicity of bank cards is preferred by some, but the long waits and necessity to share banking details with casino sites puts some off.

e-Wallets

Quicker withdrawal times and details kept away from casinos have made e-Wallets like Neteller and Skrill popular. Prepaid cards like Paysafecard are also on the rise, partly because casino bonuses in Portugal often do not apply to eWallet users.

Cryptocurrencies

Instant payments and anonymity, the main selling points of Bitcoins and its crypto cousins, are popular amongst Portugal online casino players. Fewer casinos provide crypto payments at this stage, but that’s likely to change as the rise of Bitcoin continues.


Join a Top Portugal Casino Online Today

Now that you know the ins and outs of Portugal's online gambling scene, it's time to join one of our premium casino sites to get the best gaming experience on the web. We've been in the industry for decades and know what makes a casino site a cut above the rest, so we guarantee you'll enjoy any casino you choose from our curated list on this page. Sign up with one of our trusted Portugal casinos online today, and benefit from great bonuses, a massive games portfolio, and professional customer support.

Now that you know the ins and outs of Portugal's online gambling scene, it's time to join one of our premium casino sites to get the best gaming experience on the web. We've been in the industry for decades and know what makes a casino site a cut above the rest, so we guarantee you'll enjoy any casino you choose from our curated list on this page. Sign up with one of our trusted Portugal casinos online today, and benefit from great bonuses, a massive games portfolio, and professional customer support. And if you don't like any of our options for Portugal, you'll also be able to join any of our top Brazil casinos.

Portugal Online Casinos FAQ

Gambling is legal in Portugal. Recent changes to the law have resulted in many more choices available for Portuguese online casino players due to the influx of foreign operators providing a wider range of top-quality gaming options. Land-based casino play is also legal in Portugal and makes up a decent percentage of the country’s tourism revenue.

There are numerous real money online casinos in Portugal. Providing a wide array of excellent gaming options, these casinos accept numerous different banking options for withdrawals and deposits. Popular payment methods in Portugal online casinos include debit and credit cards, eWallets, and prepaid cards. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are also growing in popularity in the country.

We understand that it can be difficult to find the right online casino to play at with the amount of choice there is available. We know not all casinos are created equal, and we don’t think it’s fair for you to have to do all the research to find the best online casino in Portugal, that’s why we’ve done the hard work for you. Check out our page here to access the greatest casinos in Portugal on the web.

Online casino play is regulated in Portugal, with casinos needing an official license from the Portuguese regulator in order to provide their games to players in the country. This, combined with the safety and security measures taken by the online casinos that we recommend, means that you can rest assured that you and your money will be kept safe.

When it comes to playing at a casino online in Portugal, gambling is legal for anyone over the age of 18. This changed from 21 in 1987 as part of gambling law changes. The legal gambling age at land-based casinos is also 18 in most cases. However, some brick and mortar casinos have a higher limit for locals, which can be up to 25, while the minimum age remains 18 for tourists.

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