Portugal prepares Legislation on Online Sports Betting

EPFL cooperates with Government

The Portuguese Government has launched a consultation aiming at enacting a new legislative framework for online sports betting in the country. A special inter-ministerial commission has just been set up and is now carrying out an intensive consultation with key stakeholders, which include the Portuguese Football League and Association, the National Association of Casinos and the state monopoly Santa Casa da Miseric?rdia de Lisboa.

The process has kicked-off last Tuesday with a meeting between several ministerial representatives and the EPFL CEO, Dr. Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros. During the two-hour meeting the EPFL Executive has shared the European League’s vision and main proposals on the matter, by stressing the Association’s serious concerns regarding the mounting challenges posed by the unregulated expansion of the online sports betting industry and the pressing need to safeguard the integrity of football competitions and the overall credibility of sport.

As stated by the EPFL CEO on the occasion “the EPFL and our Member Leagues are deeply concerned at the threats to the integrity of sporting competitions through increasing allegations of match-fixing and the growing influence of illegal gambling syndicates.”

The EPFL and its affiliated Leagues, as well as UEFA, FIFA and other competitions organizers, are under-taking a range of actions to protect their competitions from the influence of illegal betting behavior. These measures carry a significant cost burden to which the sports betting operators currently make no financial contribution at all. Moreover sports betting operators are commercially exploiting sporting events, without recompensing in any way the respective rights owners. “This is fundamentally wrong and undermines sports financing models and even its economic viability”, said Macedo de Medeiros.

The EPFL has therefore called the Portuguese Government to establish an appropriate legislative framework response to prevent and effectively fight illegal sports betting, protect minors, ensure a greater financial transparency and supervision, preventing tax evasion, money laundry and other threats and, finally, confirming that commercial exploitation of sports by public or private operators must be solely undertaken with the consent of the Leagues and other competition organizers and a fair financial return.

In a time where Europe faces an unprecedented financial and economic crisis, can any Government afford the luxury of neglecting, not just those vital objectives, but also the substantial tax revenues that a properly regulated and transparent online sports betting sector would generate? I honestly don’t think tax payers would understand that.“, added the EPFL CEO. 

Click here for more EPFL Media Releases >

Back to All News