Portuguese Government Control the Monopoly
Some of the popular deposit methods for the country include Multibanco, PayPal, Ukash, credit card, Neteller and electronic bank transfer. Portugal finally got around to issuing its first gambling license to Betclic.
More licenses eventually followed, but Betclic was the first site authorized by the government to accept real money wagers from Portuguese citizens. Previously, unlicensed operators had free reign to advertise their wares in Portugal.
The Portuguese government now prohibits such advertising and even orders internet service providers to censor the internet to block access to these sites. Of course, savvy internet users are easily able to get around the blocks. The Portuguese market has proven promising with significant revenues generated by the industry despite its young age and limited number of operators.
However, high tax rates have severely limited the market, dissuaded operators from acquiring licenses and hurt competition.
If this tax scheme applied to net profits, it would be one thing. That is not the case in Portugal. These rates are based on total gaming activity before operating expenses or net profits are even considered. Local gambling groups have petitioned the government to lower the tax rate so the market can see its true potential and attract additional licensees. More competition among Portuguese bookmakers will be a good thing for players as well. However, the industry has grown despite these issues.
By September of , Portugal had already issued a total of eleven online gambling licenses. Seven of those have been granted to online casinos and four have been granted to sports betting sites. Citizens of Portugal have access to most forms of gambling but the government strictly regulates who may offer what. There are exactly 11 land-based casinos in the country that offer all the staple games you would expect to find in a casino.
Blackjack, roulette, slot machines, poker and all the rest are common sights inside any Portuguese casino. Things look good from a distance, but the government maintains a tight grip over the industry.
The SCML is both a regulatory body and a government-controlled monopoly provider of the lottery and sports betting. It also offers a limited form of online betting through its website located here. SCML takes a unique approach to sports betting. Rather than offering the odds like a traditional bookmaker, SCML operates in the parimutuel fashion in which the payouts are determined by the betting action of all the people betting on an event.
SCML does not create the odds; it facilitates wagers between the people. All casino games and poker are illegal outside of casinos in Portugal. The SCML on the other hand has thousands of ticket sellers spread across the country. The Portuguese system worked well in the past, but the internet has changed everything. For years, Portugal has tried to fight the internet and protect its monopoly. That return to the World Cup ended in another group stage exit, but they were back in the Semi Finals four years later in Germany.
That play-off ended in another defeat, this time to Germany, as they finished the tournament in fourth place. They then reached the last 16 in , before suffering a surprise group stage exit in Brazil in An opening defeat to Germany being the main reason they dropped out of the tournament on goal difference to the United States. An opening defeat away to Switzerland almost came back to haunt the European champions, as Portugal finished level with the Swiss on points at the end of the UEFA qualifying campaign.
After a qualifying campaign that had seen them win eight and draw one, they went into their final match against Switzerland three points behind their opposition. Portugal did have a far superior goal difference though, so a win by any score line was enough to secure qualification. Win was just what they did, as they broke Swiss hearts with a victory. It was much closer than they would have hoped, but the thirty-four goals netted during the campaign proved to be the difference between first and second place.
Cristiano Ronaldo top scored, with fifteen, and he was given ample support by Andre Silva, who netted nine. Fernando Santos will be in his fourth year as Portugal head coach when the tournament kicks off in Russia, and his tenure has been a successful one so far. Having taken over in September , just a few months after guiding Greece to the knock-out stages of a World Cup for the first time, he led Portugal to the European Championships as winners of their qualifying group.
At the actual European championships, Portugal required a bit of fortune and the new format enabled them to advance to the knock-out stages despite finishing third in their group. The rest, as they say, is history and Santos celebrated turning Portugal into European champions in the space of two years.
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