Portugal mulls 25% tax rate for online operators

17 October 2018

Portugal’s government could introduce a new flat tax rate of 25% on all types of online gambling revenue, replacing the current sliding scale system.

At present, operators pay tax at various rates depending on how much revenue they post and the type of gambling services they offer.

A sliding scale of between 15% and 30% is set for online poker and casino games while firms pay an incremental tax of between 8% and 16% on sports betting turnover.

However, according to Portuguese media outlet Jornal de Negocios, proposals for the new Special Online Gambling Tax (IEJO) are being developed as part of the government’s Budget plans for fiscal 2019.

The new rate would replace the existing tax systems and represent a significant increase for operators offering online sports betting and enable the state to take more revenue from such activities.

In August, Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ), the country’s gambling regulator, reported a spike in sports betting revenue due to betting around the Fifa World Cup.

Online sports betting revenue hit €20.5m (£18m/$23.7m) in the three months to June 30, up from €13.9m in the same period last year. Football accounted for 74.4% of all online sports wagers placed in the quarter.

Online casino revenue in the period was also up €5.4m to €16.8m, with slots the main source of income. However, poker’s share increased to 20.4%, boosted by Portugal joining the shared liquidity network with France and Spain in May.

Image: Sharon Hahn Darlin