iGaming Business – Online gambling trade organisation the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has said while it welcomes the Portuguese government’s decision to regulate the country’s online gambling market, it is concerned that ‘unworkable’ tax rates could render the market unviable for internet sports betting operators.

The RGA said that punitive taxes on stakes of 8-16% for online sports betting proposed in the current draft law could deter operators from applying for licences and investing in Portugal.

The proposed online gambling law is currently in the process of going through Portuguese parliamentary process.

The trade body suggested that the taxation levels will ‘severely’ limit competition in the domestic sports betting market to the detriment of Portuguese customers and tax revenues that could be generated if a lower tax rate was introduced.

Although operators that do apply for a licence in the country will be subjected to such punitive taxes, it appears that monopoly operator of offline sports betting Santa Casa will only face half the taxation rate its online counterparts do.

In response, the RGA has urged Portuguese regulators to rethink their approach to the taxation of the online sports betting market.