The Portuguese online sports betting market is once again open for business.
The Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ) has issued its first online gaming license to Betclic, a European operator.
Since the country passed new gambling laws in April 2015, the Portuguese market has effectively been closed to major online sportsbook operators. The SRIJ insisted that any operator expecting to be awarded an online gaming license was to immediately exit the market.
Betclic’s license shows that the process of re-opening the market has officially begun.
The license was issued to BEM Operations Ltd., a subsidiary of the Betclic Everest Group that is owned by the Lov Group and La Société des Bains de Mer; the organisation that operates gambling for the Principality of Monaco.
The license only permits sports betting, although in other regulated jurisdictions, the Betclic group also operates online poker. In April, EverestPoker.fr closed with players moved to Betclic.fr, both of which were on the iPoker France network.
The only poker operators to enter the market will be those with their own platforms, as the Portuguese laws don’t allow for online poker networks to be licensed. This means that Betclic and other operators likely to enter the market, such as Betfair, must make their profits from online sports betting alone.
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