On June 20, 2016, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the UK Gambling Commission and Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos of Instituto do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ), the Portuguese gambling regulator.
Through the MoU, the regulatory organizations will work together to combat illegal gambling activities and strengthen their respective legislative codes through information and knowledge sharing.
The UK Gambling Commission’s Director of regulation, Nick Tofiluk, said, “We are pleased to announce this bilateral agreement with the SIRJ as part of our continuing co-operation. Working together with other international regulators is essential to effective gambling regulation and MoUs are a useful way of formalising and streamlining the procedures for information sharing as an aid to efficient and effective collaboration.”
According to the SRIJ news release, the intention of the MoU is to increase efforts to ensure online gambling is conducted fairly and in an open manner; to prevent crime and disorder in gambling; to protect those members of the population who are vulnerable to exploitation and or addiction; as well as to avoid unregulated and excessive gambling. Both regulating bodies emphasized that in order to create the most effective practices for the European online gambling sector; it would require further cooperation between European member states.
In June 2015, legislators in Portugal approved a regulatory bill to legalize online gambling, and in May this year, Betclic, secured its license and became the republic’s first online betting operator. The MoU will also strengthen the framework of the associated online gambling services agreement signed by EEA Member States’ gambling regulatory authorities in November 2015, according to the release.