Several major changes to gambling advertising laws in Portugal have been approved by the country’s legislature. The biggest development will see limits on the times that gambling adverts are allowed to air on television in the country. Adverts will also be required to feature warnings and promote responsible gambling.
Protecting At-Risk Players
Like many countries, Portugal has seen a rise in online gambling since the start of the pandemic. A report from Portugal’s Gaming Regulation and Inspection Service showed that over 300,000 new customers signed up to use online gambling services in the first three months of 2021 alone.
As a result of this, four bills were passed by the Portuguese legislator that was designed to regulate the industry and protect both at-risk players and the young. There will be no gambling advertisements allowed between 7 am and 10:30 pm. This is the same law that applies to alcohol in the country.
This was an amendment that was made to Bill 919 which was published back in July after record-breaking numbers were released by the iGaming industry at the end of 2020. The other bill, Bill 343, was originally published back in April. This stipulated that gambling companies must do more to protect children through their advertising.
Warnings for Gambling Required
Time limits are not the only restrictions that gambling advertisements will face. One of the other bills, Bill 951, made it mandatory for ‘social games’ to feature warnings about responsible gambling. This is common practice in many other countries already and will hopefully encourage those facing addiction to seek advice.
Bill 952 was the last of the group. The purpose of this is to restrict gambling advertising. This gives customers the opportunity to self-exclude themselves from seeing gambling advertisements.
The Portuguese Assembly passed all four of these bills on October 1st. The next stop will be the Committee on Economy, Innovation, Works, Public and Housing. It will wait then wait for a further 60 days.
A Strong Year for the iGaming and Sports Betting Industries in Portugal
The online gambling industry in Portugal is having a very strong 2021. The Serviço de Regulação Inspeção de Jogos reported in August that the online gambling revenue in the country had reached €113.2 million in the second quarter of the year. This was a significant increase from the €68.7 million from the same quarter in 2020.
While online casinos are very popular in the country, it is sports betting that has really driven these numbers up. The easing of restrictions as a result of the pandemic led to a 225% increase in revenue from online sports betting from the previous year.
Online casinos have also continued to grow over the last year, with a 20% increase in online casino use and revenue in the last 12 months.