The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has claimed that Portugal’s high tax rate for iGaming has left licensees struggling to compete with unlicensed operators.

The RGA cites a survey carried out on its behalf by Eurogroup Consulting among online gamblers, which found that 38 per cent of Portuguese players use unlicensed sites.

A further 30 per cent play via both licensed and unlicensed sites, making the unregulated market as large as 68 per cent.

Survey respondents told Eurogroup that they chose unlicensed sites mostly due to the fact that they offer better odds. This, the RGA says, supports its assessment that the 16 per cent turnover tax on sports betting is hindering the market's growth.

The survey also suggests that just 39 per cent of amounts wagered in the country is within the regulated market.

"The legal regime for online gambling that was adopted in 2015 is clearly failing to combat the unregulated market and change is much needed to make the regulation work," RGA director of government relations Pierre Tournier said.

"We strongly believe that the Portuguese government should follow examples of other European countries that have successfully regulated the sector by adopting a GGR-based tax and waiving some of the restrictions such as the sports catalogue, which would attract more operators in Portugal."

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