Portugal’s New Online Gambling Tax Chases Companies Out

Portugal's controversial new online gambling tax went into effect at the end of June and immediately several online gaming providers exited the country’s market. They include William Hill, PKR Poker and PokerStars.

Portugal has enacted its new online gaming tax and immediately several online gaming sites, including PokerStars, exited the market.

Under the new taxes, the gross revenues of companies providing online gambling services will be subject to a 15 percent tax if their annual income is less than 5 million euros. In the case of companies with annual gross revenues higher than $5 million euros, the tax rate will be higher, up to a maximum of 30 percent. A 15 percent rate will apply to income from ring games exclusively among players.

Online sports betting companies will be required to pay a levy of about eight percent, and as high as 16 percent, on betting revenue.

Very quickly, William Hill, Amaya gaming (PokerStars and Full Tilt) and PKR poker left the Portuguese market. PartyPoker had previously left.

Other providers, such as 888 Poker, have yet to announce their intentions, leading analysts to speculate that they may be waiting to see who is left standing after the pull outs are done.