The State of Gambling and Tourism in Portugal


Portugal is one of the few countries in the world that promotes gambling tourism; it boosts the nation’s income and adds to the GDP. The popular destination has numerous gaming establishments situated inside of hotels and close to holiday resorts. The industry isn’t only land-based; you’ll also find casino online Portugal. Gambling is firmly entrenched in Portugal’s attraction as a holiday destination for families and serious bettors.

Gambling Activities

The well-established tourist infrastructure has had a positive impact on the growth of the gambling sector. Casinos in Portugal are only placed in designated gambling zones. These coincide with the popular tourist resort areas, and there are currently ten zones in total.

There are a few exceptions to the rule. One of them is the possibility of operating floating casinos. Liners are very popular with tourists, as they can enjoy the beautiful islands’ sights and simultaneously do some gambling.

Our gambling expert, Victoria Oliviera, warns prospective casino owners that it’s not a simple process to run a successful gaming establishment onboard a ship. Besides the fact that you need special permission from the authorities, you can only operate in neutral waters.

It makes it challenging to navigate the tourist destinations and legally allow poker and other betting games on the ship. Online betting websites are also prevalent in Portugal, and since this was legalized in 2015, it’s been growing at a steady pace.

So even if a holidaymaker isn’t close to a casino, they can access several gambling websites from their mobile devices.

Tax Implications

For the gambling operators, the taxes are restrictive; for the tourists, it’s a haven. Gambling companies can pay as much as 45% in tax, which depends on where the casino is based and what kind of games it offers. Bingo games only get a 25% tax imposed if they’re played in completely separate halls.

Many international companies have withdrawn due to the high tax brackets, but there are still as many more applying and waiting for new licenses. Individuals have a different set of rules. Except for lottery winnings (which have taxes withheld at the source), players winnings from gambling aren’t taxed within Portugal.

That isn’t to say the person won’t need to file taxes in their country of origin, and both of those regulations may change soon. In March 2019, an exclusive group was set up to explore whether the current tax rules need to be revised for the gambling market.


Gambling has long since lost the stigma it once held as being a vice for the addict. Over the years, it’s developed a more casual reputation, with many people now considering it a pastime for entertainment purposes.

Online gaming especially has had a hand in transforming the industry. For a few coins, the young and the old can give the roulette wheel a spin, or enjoy some themed video slots. Similarly, when a casino is situated within a tropical hotel or resort, it offers a new and attractive form of entertainment.

In the evenings, people can enjoy table games or slots after they’ve returned from a day of sightseeing. Tourism in Portugal 2020 includes casinos as part and parcel of the experience.

These establishments often have designated areas for children, and parents can leave their little ones in the care of qualified caretakers while trying their hand at some of the games.

Final Thoughts

A country needs to have unique attractions to entice tourists to visit to bring in much-needed income. Gambling in Portugal is an added attraction for holidaymakers. Each casino is situated within a hotel or holiday resort, and it’s a form of entertainment that visitors can enjoy without the usual stigma.

There are land-based casinos, online gaming operators, and even floating establishments for people to enjoy. Taxation is lax for the individual, making it even more attractive to come gamble in the country. The resorts set up childcare facilities to allow parents to enjoy some quiet time at the tables.

In the years to come, this may be what continues to draw tourists to the area for relaxation and an added bit of adult fun.

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