Online gambling legislation has passed in Portugal. The Council of Ministers approved the final bill last Thursday.  President Aníbal Cavaco Silva signed the bill and published information in the official bulletin of the country which stated that a new license-based market will be created similar to those in Spain, France and Italy.  According to some estimates Portugal is expected to bring in €25 million in annual revenues.

This makes Portugal the latest country in a long line of countries racing to regulate the market and gives Portugal the opportunity to offer online poker, online casino games and betting options in a safe environment for players in the country.

Turismo de Portugal will control of regulation and licensing using regulatory powers granted them via a gambling commission which will be created as the industry begins.  The first licenses have the potential to be issued by the third quarter of this year. Companies that can ensure the full respect of technical and financial requirements will be approved for licensing. Licensing should be valid for three years and will have the option for renewal.

A press release sent out by the government of Portugal states the bill will proceed with the regulation of online gambling based on recommendations by the EC and practices found to be efficient on an international level.  The European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund all had a hand in getting Portugal on board.