Top 10 Portuguese Poker Sites 2019 : For Portuguese Players

Best Portuguese poker sitesThe gambling market in Portugal is considered quite promising, and the laws surrounding online gambling is far more relaxed when compared to other European countries. All forms of gambling in Portugal are currently legalised, including lotteries, sports betting, casinos, and even online poker.

However, the current situation with online casinos in Portugal is rather complicated as local websites are primarily aimed towards locally-based players.

As mentioned above, most forms of gambling in Portugal is legalised. The right of operating games of chance, also known as games of luck, is granted to the state. This provides the state with the ability to organise these games themselves or by delegating the right to a separate entity.

Furthermore, the state also has the power to authorise games that provide prizes that aren’t monetary. Non-profit organisations don’t have the right to organise these games unless the state is made aware of a specific promotional activity.

Recommended Portuguese Online Poker Rooms

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The exclusive right to establish social games, where the state benefits directly, are offered to the Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lisboa Games Department, more commonly known as SCML. These games include sports betting and the state lottery. SCML also has exclusive rights which are equal to state-sanctioned monopoly. This means it can organise traditional lottery, instant lottery, and sports betting. Should the Department receive a special permit from the Portugal government, other lotteries can also be organised by the SCML. However, horse racing events and activities are excluded from the SCML.

Other games in the country, including bingo and horse racing, are permitted, but they can only be operated in case of a signed contract. The contracts usually last for a period of 2 or 3 decades. The game is often restricted to a specific area of Portugal according to the signed contract. Furthermore, the country of Portugal has granted several licences to land-based casinos. The country is essentially divided into numerous gambling zones, and only one casino is allowed in each gambling zone. There are currently ten casinos throughout Portugal. One is situated in Madeira, while nine are located in mainland Portugal. The casinos include Hotel Algarve Casino, Casino de Monte Gordo, Casino de Povoa Varzim, Casino de Vilamoura, Casino da Madeira & Casino Park Hotel, Casino Figuera da Foz, Casino Solverde de Espinho, Casino Lisboa and Casino Estoril.

Is Gambling Legal in Portugal?

The government of Portugal has made the country a gambling-friendly zone when it comes to playing online. All forms of gambling, including online gambling, is currently being regulated by the Portuguese government. The primary goal of the authorities is to provide its citizens with a closely-monitored, legal, and more importantly, safe gambling experience.

The government of Portugal even operates several online casinos themselves and work closely with numerous privately owned web-based gambling operators to offer reliable and trustworthy services to the residents of Portugal. The government of Portugal have successfully blocked offshore casino operators that aren’t licensed within Portugal and regulates all gambling activities via the SCML.

However, this policy changed in 2013 when the government announced that online gambling planned to be legalised in Portugal. The reason this took place was due to the government realising that online gambling is actually a source of additional income and could be used as an additional measure of taxation revenue and used to benefit the country socially. The taxation and licensing of online gambling was one of the most important priorities for the Council of Ministers in the country. The plans included taxation and licensing on a broad range of online gambling activities, including online poker, horse racing, sports betting, and online casino.

In 2015, new laws were approved by the Portuguese government to advance with the expansion of the current legislation in Portugal. The gambling activities and online gambling legal framework was once again approved by the Council of Ministers to create more stability and new gambling regulations for the country. This essentially prevents money laundering and fraud as well as ensure online gambling is safe and secure for all players involved. When it comes to taxation, Portugal requests 16% on turnover from all sports betting operations and 30% from casino operations which include online poker.

Playing Online Poker Sites in Portugal

In February 2018, online poker players in Portugal received the green light to share liquidity with their counterparts in Spain and France, after Portugal approved the regulations. The regulatory body of Portugal, the Servico Regulacao e Inspecao Jogos do Turismo de Portugal, approved regulations that governed the technical requirements for licensed online poker sites in Portugal, namely PokerStars, to share liquidity with online websites in the regulated markets of Spain and France.

Although Portugal recently joined the player pool of Spain and France, there still a hitch for Portugal players as some games won’t be provided to them due to certain discrepancies regarding the rake. While online poker tournaments will be much larger thanks to the addition of a new market, Portugal will be absent from all standard cash games. Obviously, Zoom cash games are included, but regular ring games won’t be provided to Portugal at the moment.

This resulted in the fact that Portugal would not permit PokerStars to apply a rake percentage of 5.75%. However, to make life a little easier for Portuguese players, the company agreed to decrease the rake on Zoom cash games to 5% to meet licensing stipulations within the country. Apart from Portugal, Spain, and France, the player pool has grown recently as Italy also joined the fold to share liquidity among its neighbouring countries. This means tournaments now offer larger prize pools, and the quality of service is improved as additional agents have been assigned to cater to the Portuguese player base.

Apart from PokerStars being the first official online poker room to offer its services to the players in Portugal, you will also find a handful of other online poker rooms that gladly accept players from the country. However, you won’t find the same leading poker rooms on the list as most of them retracted from Portugal a few years ago.

FAQs when playing poker in Portugal

Is online poker legal in Portugal?

Yes, online poker is legal in Portugal. The government of Portugal made the country a gamble-friendly zone and allows all forms of online gambling. All forms of online gambling are regulated by the government of Portugal to ensure all players experience safety and to prevent money laundering.

Can I play at any online poker site in Portugal?

Yes. The Portuguese government banned all online gambling websites not licensed within Portugal. Therefore residents can only access those licensed within the country and are unable to access international online poker sites without using a VPN. The only online poker room that is officially licensed in the country is PokerStars.

Who do I play against at PokerStars?

Currently, those residing in Portugal are only able to play against residents of France, Spain, and Italy. This makes the cash tables and tournaments far softer when compared to the international player pool, and PokerStars frequently establishes an exclusive online poker tournament aimed towards this unique European market.

Can I claim bonuses and promotions from legal online poker sites in Portugal?

Yes. The same sign-up bonuses made available to others at PokerStars is available to those in Portugal. In addition, other promotions as assigned by PokerStars will allow participation from those residing in Portugal. This includes reload bonuses, rakeback, bonuses and satellite promotions.

[accordion title=”What payment methods can I use to play poker online in Portugal?

All tradition deposit/withdrawal methods are available to Portuguese residents. This includes e-wallets, direct bank deposits, prepaid cards and credit cards if allowed by your financial institution. It should be noted that some withdrawal methods may incur withdrawal fees so it ideal to check before withdrawing.

Am I able to track other players?

Yes and no. This will depend on the poker room you are playing with. Some will allow you to search for other players, while others will not. If allowed, it will show all tables an individual player is seated at or tournaments they are playing in.

I want play using my smartphone, is this possible?

Most poker sites will offer a mobile poker app, or access via a mobile web browser. It should be noted that not all sites will offer an app for all smartphones. Generally, most will support android, windows and iOS devices.

When is the best time to play poker online?

That will depend on the poker site, and the geographical location to which you reside. As a general rule, those poker rooms with high traffic will always have acceptable traffic numbers so that finding a cash game or tournament will not be difficult.

How long does it take to get my winnings after I request a withdrawal?

This will depend on the method of payment you have requested. It will also depend on the poker room as each will have different withdrawal times. E-wallets are the fastest method to receive payment, bank and credit card withdrawals will take longer, in some cases up to 7 business days.

Will I be required to download software to play poker online?

Depending on the poker site you are electing to register with, yes and no. However, most sites, but not all, will offer access via a web-browser for those who prefer not to download software. This can apply to desktop and mobile devices.

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