Is Online Betting Legal in Portugal?
Yes, online betting is fully legalized and regulated in Portugal. Traditionally, all sports betting activity in Portugal was run exclusively by the Santa Casa de Misericordia de Lisboa (SCML), which used the profits generated from betting to fund social programs to help the elderly and children in the Lisbon area. The SCML offered only pooled betting, rather than traditional fixed odds sports betting.
As internet gaming showed signs of popularity in the early 2000s, the Portuguese government stepped in and added additional clarification on their gambling laws. Legislative Decree 282/2003 sought granted SCML a license to essentially operate online and prohibit all other operators from providing their services online or via any electronic device.
Even with this restriction in place, many online operators continued to provide their services to Portugal and banks continued to honour transactions. After Bwin lost their ECJ case against the Portuguese monopoly, they continued to offer their online service. This prompted Portugal to introduce ISP blocks on international sites, although these were largely ineffective.
Portugal Moves to a Regulated Market
In 2013, the Portuguese government announced it was going to liberalize and regulate the online market. As the economic hardships continued throughout Europe, resulting in Portugal receiving financial bailouts, it was hard to ignore the revenue brought in by online gaming in Spain, Italy, and France.
In April 2015, the Legal Regime of Online Gambling and Betting (Regime Juridico dos Jogos e Apostas Online, or RJO) Decree-Law No. 66/2015 was signed into law. This gaming law established a scheme for operators to apply for licenses for fixed odds sports betting, casino games, and poker. Licenses are issued by the Gambling Inspection and Regulation Service, or Serviço de Regulação Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ).
International vs Licensed Bookmakers
When regulated Portugal sports betting began, betting sites were taxed at 15%. However, that figure ballooned to 35% in 2020. Those heavy tax rates have pushed many of the top betting sites out of the Portuguese market, as they do not wish to deal with those high tax rates, along with additional overhead costs like the operation of a .pt domain specifically for Portugal.
That also means that these sites are limited in what they can offer players in terms of odds and promotions while remaining profitable. However, there are alternatives for betting in Portugal.
Many international betting sites still accept Portuguese players to this day. These sites come with several advantages over regulated operators, including:
With lower overhead costs, international sites can offer much better odds than their Portuguese counterparts. That means bigger payouts when you win, and a better chance of turning a profit over the long run.
Bigger Bonus Offers
For the same reasons that they can offer more competitive odds, foreign sites also have the ability to provide bigger bonuses to their players. That not only means more lucrative welcome bonuses, but also more free bets, ongoing promotions, and special offers than Portuguese sites.
More Betting Options
While regulated sites can offer betting on a wide range of different sports, they are still subject to the approval of the SRIJ, which can choose to prohibit some types of bets or some obscure markets. On the other hand, any foreign sites have more freedom to experiment with non-traditional options, or lesser-known competitions that aren’t approved for betting by the SRIJ.
While the Portuguese government only approves of sites that are licensed by the SRIJ, many players in Portugal continue to bet on unlicensed sites from other countries. Players are not prosecuted for betting with these foreign operators.
How to Deposit at Portuguese Sports Betting Sites
It’s simple to deposit money into your account at sports betting sites in Portugal. While not every site offers the same options, each of our recommended bookmakers in Portugal offers a distinct set of banking methods. Naturally, you’ll notice a difference between the options present at international operators and licensed sites.
A few deposit options are particularly useful for Portuguese bettors. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common banking methods you’ll find at betting sites.
Multibanco is a network of 27 Portuguese banks that offer shared ATMs, internet banking, and online payments. This makes Multibanco a secure and trusted option for making deposits at betting sites in Portugal. This option is widely accepted at Portuguese sites and is available at many overseas sites as well. Even if you don’t see a specific Multibanco option on a site, you may be able to use you card as a Visa or MasterCard and still use it to deposit into your account.
Skrill is one of the most popular e-wallet platforms in the world. You can fund a Skrill account using a wide variety of different methods, then use that account to make deposits, process withdrawals, or simply hold funds for later use. Most of our recommended betting sites accept Skrill deposits, making this an ideal way to manage your money if you plan to move funds between multiple accounts.
Credit and debit cards are some of the most flexible ways to make deposits at Portuguese betting sites. Using a card is as simple as making an online shopping purchase: just provide your card information and the amount you wish to deposit, and your funds will be transferred in moments. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit and debit card brands, though some sites also provide other options like Discover and American Express.
Paysafecard is a prepaid system that can be used for deposits at many betting sites. You can purchase a voucher at a local retail outlet or online, then use the funds stored on that voucher to make your deposit. This makes the paysafecard an ideal option for those who don’t want to share their financial information with online betting sites, or those who don’t have access to options like a credit card or bank transfer.
Bet on the Most Popular Sports in Portugal
Portuguese bettors enjoy watching and betting on a wide range of sports from around the world.
The top sports betting sites in Portugal offer markets on thousands of different events, meaning no matter what sports you enjoy most, you’ll be able to get action on your favourite teams and players. Of course, some sports are especially popular in Portugal.
Here’s a breakdown of a few sports that get special emphasis at Portuguese betting sites.
Football is the most popular sport in Portugal and the biggest source of revenue for sports betting sites operating in the country. Naturally, you can bet on Portugal’s domestic league – the Primeira Liga – with many sites offering odds on lower division games as well.
But the options go far beyond that. You can bet on major and minor domestic leagues throughout Europe, South America, and across the globe. Betting sites also offer markets on international competitions like the European Championship and the World Cup, and club tournaments such as the Champions League and Europa League.
Basketball has grown in popularity internationally, to the point where it nearly rivals football worldwide. While Portugal may not be a basketball powerhouse, the sport enjoys a strong following, and the Portuguese national team has qualified for EuroBasket three times.
Portuguese betting sites offer betting on a number of the top basketball leagues worldwide. That includes the NBA, but also the EuroLeague, with some sites dipping into major European domestic leagues as well. You can also bet on international competition at the FIBA World Championships, Olympics, and EuroBasket.
Similar to football, futsal is a five-on-five competition played on a small, hard court where improvisation and creativity are at a premium. Many betting sites offer markets on major futsal competitions such as the European Championships and the FIFA Futsal World Cup. Some Portuguese sites may also offer betting on the Campeonato Nacional, the top division of futsal in Portugal, or the UEFA Futsal Champions League.
Rink hockey (also known as roller hockey) is a five-on-five sport with similarities to ice hockey. However, this version of the sport is played on a hard court, with players wearing roller skates during play.
Portugal has won 16 world championships in rink hockey, along with 21 European titles. Portuguese sites often offer rink hockey betting on major international competitions, and some of the largest domestic leagues like Spain’s OK Liga and Portugal’s First Division.
Yes, you can legally enjoy online sports betting in Portugal. On this page, we’ve included a list of our recommended sports betting sites for Portuguese bettors. We’ve researched each site to come up with a top list of trusted, reputable operators for you to choose from.
There are several different sports betting sites available in Portugal. These are generally divided into two categories: bookmakers that are regulated by the SRIJ, and foreign sites that accept Portuguese players. We’ve put together a list of the best betting sites to help you find the option that meets your needs.
Players are not required to pay taxes on their online gambling winnings, whether they come from sports betting or other avenues like casino games. Instead, all taxes are paid by licensed betting operators. This means you can bet on your favourite sports without fear of owing a large tax bill if you win.
If you are playing with a licensed bookmaker in Portugal, you can contact the SRIJ with any complaints or concerns. When it comes to foreign betting sites, you can reach out to us at SBO.net if you have a dispute with any of the sites recommended on this page.