Portuguese parliament is reviewing a new law proposal, dealing with punitive taxes on stakes in sport betting. The new proposed tax should be 8-16 % and it would render the market unavailable for the vast majority of online operators, who might otherwise decide to invest in the EU. The warning came from the Remote Gaming Association, a trade body that represents the interests of many major online gambling companies in Europe. They pointed out that these new punitive levels of taxation will severely limit competition in the Portuguese sports betting market, whilst Santa Casa, the monopoly operator of offline sports betting will face only half the tax burden on its offline sports betting offer. RGA has called on the Portuguese government to reconsider.
“Whilst the RGA and its members welcome the Portuguese initiative in seeking to regulate the online gambling sector, our members are extremely concerned about the unworkable tax rates that are proposed in the draft law which is presently being considered.
"The extent of the disparity in tax burden between licensed online sports betting operators and the offline monopoly operator Santa Casa could be as much as 50 percent in favor of Santa Casa. Such a differential has the potential to create a situation of substantial illegal state aid being granted to Santa Casa by the Portuguese government whilst also destroying any hope for fair competition in a future regulated online sports betting government.
"The RGA would welcome the opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Portuguese government to ensure a level playing field for all online sports betting operators seeking to obtain licenses.” Said Clive Hawkswood, the CEO of the RGA