Portugal launches public tender for land-based casinos
The bidding has opened for two land-based casino licences that expire at the end of the year.
Portugal.- The national gaming regulator, Serviços de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ), has launched a public tender for two land-based casino licences in Portugal. The current exclusive licences for Casino Figueira and Casino Estoril expire on December 31.
The licences for the two areas where land-based casinos are legal (Estoril and Figueira da Foz) had been extended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now a new public tender will be held to select the next licensees. Submissions will remain open for 30 days
Applicants must be a public limited company with offices in an EU or European Economic Area country that is party to certain anti-money laundering, fraud and tax administrative cooperation agreements. Non-Portuguese operators will need to have a presence in Portugal.
The current operator of Casino Figueira in Figueira da Foz is the wood manufacturer Amorim, which bought the licence from Sociedade Figueira Praia. Casino Estoril near Lisbon is run by Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM), owner of Macau casino operator SJM.
For the second quarter, Portuguese online gaming and betting revenue came in at €146.4m, which was a rise of 17.2 per cent year-on-year but a drop of 7.7 per cent against a very strong Q1.
Sports betting generated €64.7m and online gaming €81.7m. The Special Tax on Online Gaming (IEJO) returned €44.9m, compared to €38.8m in Q2 2021. Meanwhile, the number of new player registrations also fell in the quarter, dropping by 23.1 per cent.
In May, the SRIJ approved regulations allowing crash games in the country. Existing licensed operators can apply for permission to offer them.
These are games banked by the house that let customers play against the operator with a multiplier, which increases through the game from 1 to a maximum of 100. The idea is that players aim to pull their bet before the end of the game to recover their stake multiplied by the current multiplier if they manage to do so.
Earlier in the year, it implemented a new rule taking a hard line on live odds. Rule No.1/2022/SRIJ prohibits gambling operators from publishing live odds on sports events on any platform, physical or online, including on advertising boards at stadiums and arenas.
The display of live, up-to-date odds will be considered illegal advertising and could result in regulatory action, it said. The move follows the national legislature’s approval of new limits on gambling advertising last October. Other countries, including the Netherlands, have introduced similar measures.
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