Portugal Halts iGaming during COVID-19 Pandemic

Portugal Halts iGaming during COVID-19 Pandemic

Staff Writer
April 22, 2020
1116

The Portuguese Parliament is set to present restrictions for online gambling due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The environmentalist Partido das Pessoas, dos Animais e da Natureza (PAN) introduced a bill demanding limiting iGambling during the crisis. The group’s members expressed concern regarding potential hazards.

Undefined Yet

Right now, the bill does not specify the boundaries. However, it does state the need to introduce “partial or total limitations on access to online gambling platforms”. Additionally, the bill references neighbouring Spain. Namely, Spain has restricted audiovisual gambling communications to between 1am and 5am during the lockdown.

The creators of the bill emphasized that the industry’s revenue in the country has risen 18% year-on-year since March 18. That is when the European country entered a state of emergency. Online casino revenue has grown 24%.

A Clear Mission

The bill came into force on 9th April 2020. Thus the Portuguese government had five working days to introduce new regulations. The regulations have been in force since Monday, 20th April 2020. Moreover, they will stay in effect until the state of emergency in Portugal has been lifted.

The governing Socialist Party supported the bill. The Left Bloc, Unitary Democratic Coalition, the Liberal Initiative and Libre parties also agreed on the matter.

The bill reads,

“There is an urgent need to guard against a situation that could potentially have very harmful effects – unlimited and uncontrolled access to online gaming channels, which is exacerbated by the partial stopping of the economy.

“People with impulse control may feel less in control of their behaviour and therefore gamble more, with worsening emotional and financial consequences.”

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