Portugal’s first licensed online casino site up and running
At a meeting held on July 25, Portugal’s gambling regulator, Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (Gambling Inspection and Regulation Service) (SRIJ) issued an online games of chance license, which includes “Blackjack 21 machines games and French Roulette,” to Estoril Sol Digital Online Gaming Products and Services, SA, which in addition to Casino Estoril, operates two other land-based casinos, Casino Lisboa and Casino da Povoa, according to the SRIJ.
Estoril Sol, whose chairman is Hong Kong and Macau business magnate Stanley Ho, and which holds a 64 percent share in the local brick and mortar gambling market, will operate using the domain Estroilsolcasinos.pt. GAMING1, based out of Brussels, is powering Estoril’s online platform, which is available now on mobile and desktop. More games will be added to the current 15 slot titles, two roulette variants and one blackjack game, in the approaching weeks.
GAMING1’s CEO, Sylvain Boniver, said, “The creation of this joint venture demonstrates Gaming1’s strength as an all-round partner, not just a provider.” Boniver added, “It’s a very proud moment for us to launch the first licensed website to offer legal online casino in Portugal and together we hold all the aces to move forward in this exciting market,” according to InterGame.
Estoril Sol and GAMING1 each own a 50 percent share of Portugal’s first licensed online casino brand, EstorilSolCasinos.pt. Commenting on the joint venture, the international development director at Gaming1, Gérard El Allaf, said, “Right from the start there was a clear synergy between Portugal’s number-one land-based operator and Gaming1, and, “By combining the reputation of a group such as Estoril Sol, and its knowledge of the Portuguese market, with the know-how of our online specialists, we have the best tools at our disposal to capitalise on this fantastic opportunity with the online casino market in Portugal,” according to the news agency.
It is the third online gambling license issued by the Gaming Commission under the Legal Framework for Online Games and Gambling, approved by Decree-Law No. 66/2015 and signed by President Aníbal Cavaco Silva on April 29, 2015. Portugal’s new regulated online gambling market went into effect in June of last year and on May 25 this year the first online sports betting license was issued to Well Operations Limited, operating under the Bwin brand. The second license issued by the SRIJ was also for online sports betting, which was granted to Bet Entertainment Technologies Limited, which operates under the Bet brand, according to the SRIJ.
Last month, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Teresa Monteiro, Vice-President of SRIJ, and S. Harrison, Executive Director of the Gambling Commission (UK), with the intention of heightening efforts to combat illegal gambling activities and strengthen their respective legislative codes.