Possible Liberalization of Online Casino Games in Portugal

By Maria McCoyGoogle

Economic turmoil in Portugal may influence lawmakers toward online casino gaming liberalization in the near future. Portugal News Online reports that the possibility of pumping a few hundred million Euros into the economy from online gaming tax revenues is motivating decision makers to open gaming markets to foreign competition.

A recent report circulated throughout the Portugese government suggested that online casino games revenue could be the answer to a €478 million budget deficit. Online casino games licenses could produce as much as €250 million in revenue in 2012 alone.

Companies like Bwin, who have tried unsuccessfully to crack Portugal’s online casino games legal gaming monopoly by Santa Casa de Misericordia de Lisboa, are especially excited by the news.  Santa Casa recently won a court battle that forced Bwin to remove all advertising from Portuguese soccer stadiums, programs and merchandise. Bwin had already invested over €4 million sponsoring the Portuguese National Soccer Team and as a result of the ruling now face up to €27 million in damages.

As a result of the deepening economic challenges in Portugal and in Europe in general, it is likely that many government officials will realize the advantages of an open gaming market.

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