The great dynamism of the online casino industry globally and the clear legal void in Portugal in relation to the activity constituted a dangerous combination. Online gambling was a modern reality, not recognized by the government.
This situation resulted in the tacit acceptance of illegal online gambling and the lack of regulation of the activity, despite the huge offering of online casinos; in pursuit of the highest prizes, players broke the law and risked their luck by using unregulated sites, whose ethics and practices in the face were not guaranteed.
Thus, players were susceptible to falling victim illegal online casinos and all sorts of scams. Over the years, many players have not received their prizes and their balances have been frozen or even confiscated by foreign officials due to small or large irregularities.
The success of online casinos, whose activities were beyond the supervision of the General Games Inspectorate, and their proliferation in Portugal, intensified the need to legislate the sector in order to tax the online gaming activity while simultaneously protecting Portuguese players.
Thus, with the approval of the most recent legislation on gambling in 2015, the SRIJ issued 12 licenses (to date) to the following operators: Betclic, Bet.pt, Estoril Sol, PokerStars, Casino Portugal (Amorim Turismo), Solverde and Our Bet. The complete list of legal casinos and reviews can be seen at Casino Online Portugal review portal.
To obtain this license, operators have to guarantee certain requirements to the legislator, including having their tax regularized and monitored in Portugal or in the country in which their main offices are located, to be fit for purpose and to integrate regulated and legal software and technology.
It is also important to point out that the licensing of casinos depends on certification and payment of deposits. Clearly, the purpose of this law is to foster legal clarification of online gambling in order to promote player safety, thereby stimulating the choice of casinos that adopt best practices and a climate of responsible gambling.
There are other reputable casinos that are offered in Portuguese language which you can see at Casino Online Brasil, the Brazilian online casino review portal, however they are not regulated by the Portuguese government so are illegal to play in Portugal.
In the rest of Europe, in countries such as Spain and Italy, legislation on online gambling has advanced in the same direction: to authorize, legislate, tax and control online gambling activity, ensuring that players enjoy the best games and prizes, but always safely, playing exclusively in licensed online casinos.