Today, we’re diving deep into the gambling scene in Portugal. We’ll touch on the legal lowdown, dish out a dose of gambling history, and give you the 411 on how to spot top-notch online casinos. Plus, we’ve got a hot list of the best online casinos Portugal has to offer. We’ll break down the types of bonuses up for grabs and spill the beans on popular payment methods. Oh, and we won’t skip out on the scoop about brick-and-mortar casinos, lotteries, and other gaming gigs.
Best Online Casinos For Portugal People
Since online gambling is legit in Portugal, there’s a boatload of both local and international online casinos to choose from. They’re all kept in check by the local gambling bigwig, Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ), which is under the wing of the Ministry of Economy.
That’s a sweet deal because it means clear rules and a safety net for players. But with all these options, you might be wondering, “How do I pick the cream of the crop?”. Hold tight; we’ll get to that in a sec. But first, check out our handpicked list of the best online casinos in Portugal:
Portugal’s gambling scene has some deep roots. The first lotteries showed up in 1783 and were all about good causes. The casino game kicked off in 1904 with a spot in Figueira da Foz.
Politics back in the early 20th century was, let’s say, a bit wishy-washy. The government’s vibe toward gambling was all over the place. That went on until 1926 when Antonio Salazar took the reins. His “New State” regime had a soft spot for gambling. This chill atmosphere lasted until 1974, and with the regime’s downfall, most casinos got a government takeover. Still, that phase was short-lived, and by the 80s, the casinos were back in private hands.
1989 was a game-changer with a solid law setting the score for legal gambling and its dos and don’ts. Initially, it was all about the brick-and-mortar joints. But tweaks happened along the way, like in 2007 when poker got the green light.
Another big moment was in 2015 when a specific law brought online gambling into the spotlight. Online casinos, sportsbooks, and online poker shifted from the gray zone to the up-and-up. This move shook some operators, making them bail from the market. But most just took a breather, grabbed a license, and soon, major online casinos and poker rooms made a comeback in Portugal.
Legality and regulation of gambling
Right now in Portugal, the following gambling kicks are legit:
Brick and mortar casinos in one of the 10 designated gaming zones.
Various lotteries and bingo games.
Betting on sports, both at physical joints and online.
Poker, either played live in the casinos or in online rooms.
Online casinos, as long as they’re rocking a local license.
For clarity, those land-based casinos are only chillin’ in special gaming zones like: Azores, Algarve, Vidago, Pedras Salgadas & Chaves, Póvoa de Varzim, Porto Santo, Tróia, Figueira da Foz, Funchal (Madeira), Espinho, and Estoril.
Online casinos in Portugal need a local license from the Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ). But not all these operators have jumped on the local license bandwagon. Many ride on international licenses handed out by big shots like MGA or Curacao.
Choosing the best online casinos in Portugal
As promised, we’re diving deep into what you gotta look out for when picking your online casino. First, scope out the license and see if it’s up to date and legit. Plus, keep an eye on real player reviews. Next, check out the bonus game at the casino, and if they’ve got sweet payment options. Also, peep if they’ve got a solid customer service crew and if their site is smartphone-friendly. We’ll break down each of these in a sec.
Legality and Safety
Portugal’s got its own license, thanks to the big dogs at SRIJ. So, you’ve got choices: hang at a local joint or try out an international spot. If you’re looking international, the MGA from Malta and Curacao are the top dogs. Safety-wise, there’s not much difference. Both local and these international commissions keep a tight ship, making sure no shady stuff goes down. The real differences come down to some providers or payment methods (like if you’re looking to make it rain with cryptocurrency, MGA licensed casinos might leave you hanging).
Want the real lowdown on a casino? Check out what other players are yapping about. We pay mad attention to this, especially when drama goes down. A solid casino will always be on the ball, sorting issues and meeting players halfway. You can catch these reviews on dedicated review sites or gaming forums. Some of the big players in the review game include the global site: casino.org/pt, or review-focused sites like: pt.trustpilot.com/categories/casino.
Bonuses & Promotions
One thing to keep your eyes peeled for is the whole bonus scene. Portugal’s top online casinos ain’t just throwing welcome bonuses your way; they’re handing out full-blown welcome packages and regular perks. Talking about the regular bonus scene, you can get deposit bonuses, you know, like those sweet reload deals, monthly/weekly cashback, and of course, the swanky VIP setups. Hang tight, we’ll break down all the bonus flavors up for grabs in Portuguese casinos in a bit.
Now, since not everyone’s down to load up their casino balance with a bank card, solid casinos offer other ways to throw in your chips. So, always do your homework on payment options before diving in – saves a world of headache later on.
Need the 411 or got a glitch? The support crew’s got your back. In Portugal’s top-tier online casinos, not only will they hit you back within minutes, but they’ll also be chatting in Portuguese. Makes the whole convo flow smoother, right?
For those always on the move, this one’s crucial. A good casino’s gotta make sure not just the games, but the whole site, is slick on mobile. We’re talking about a snazzy mobile interface and a smooth experience when you’re looking to drop some dough or cash out.
Bonuses and promotions for Portugal players
Alright, let’s dig into the juicy part. What kind of bonus action can you expect at these online casinos? Right out of the gate, newcomers are greeted with a welcome bonus. With this, you can get extra playing cash after your deposit and maybe even score some free spins. The best part? In top-notch casinos, the welcome bonus ain’t a one-time deal – it stretches over your first few deposits, making up a sweet welcome package.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Once you’ve milked the welcome bonus, you’re in for the regular bonus ride, packed with all sorts of reloads, cashbacks, and VIP goodies. And hey, don’t sleep on the regular races and tourneys the casino’s got lined up. We’re about to break all this down with some real examples. Stay tuned!
As we already mentioned, right after signing up, you’re set to get a boost on your first few deposits, plus a bunch of free spins thrown into the mix. Depending on the casino, bonus amounts can vary, just like the number of freebies you get.
Regular Player Bonuses
For those casino junkies who keep coming back for more, there’s a special bonus track laid out. This usually includes those reload bonuses, giving you extra on top of your deposits or more spins for free. On top of that, casinos might offer some exclusive deals, cashback systems, or leaderboard challenges.
Races and Tournaments
Looking to spice up your gaming life and score some extra loot? Enter the world of races and tournaments. These special events let any gamer jump in the mix. After signing up, you’ve got to hit the slots from the given list and rack up those tourney points. The higher you climb the leaderboard, the fatter the rewards. Right now, MelBet’s got some smokin’ tournaments going on:
Sunstroke – Dive into the Wazdan games with a total jackpot of €50,000 up for grabs.
Beat The Heat – A Smartsoft Gaming throwdown with €10,000 on the table.
Hot Fortune – Roll with the Pocket Games Soft, boasting a total pool of €10,000.
Money Mania – A Mancala Gaming showdown with €3,000 in the pot.
Spinomenal Universe – Hosted by Spinomenal with a mind-blowing prize pool of €100,000.
Big Bang – A mega tourney by Barbara Bang, flashing a whopping €500,000 jackpot!
Sports betting in Portugal
Much like many other gambling gigs, sports betting’s all good and legal in Portugal. Both brick-and-mortar bookies and their online counterparts are kept in check by the SRIJ, the big kahunas handing out the licenses. Getting a license here’s pretty chill, so every year, Portugal’s seeing more branches from famous international bookies pop up. Some of the big dogs in the scene include Betano, MelBet, Betclick, Parimatch, ESC Online, and loads more.
Sports, in general, is a big deal in Portugal. With the country rocking a warm vibe, summer sports and their beachy versions are where it’s at. Sports ain’t just a fun time; it’s also a solid way to keep fit and fab. That’s why we’ve put together a quick rundown of the hottest sports in Portugal. We’ve got both the top sports that Portuguese peeps are all about and the most-watched disciplines.
Soccer/Football – This sport is hands down the champ in popularity and the sheer number of folks in Portugal who’re into it. Portugal has mad cred in the global football scene. They’ve got some killer wins under their belt, like Euro 2016 and UEFA 2018, not to mention baller players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Carvalho, Bernardo Silva, and loads more.
Basketball – Another team sport that’s stolen the hearts of the Portuguese. It’s played everywhere, from neighborhood courts to pro arenas. Its massive following comes from a tight set-up and killer teams that rock it in European leagues. Clubs like Benfica and Porto are big deals here.
Futsal (Indoor Soccer) – Given Portugal’s love for football, no shocker there’s another version of it on the popularity chart. Unlike classic football, futsal is played indoors on a hard court. And just like its big bro football, the Portuguese national team is beast, even clinching the 2018 European Championship.
Water Sports – With all that coastline, it’s a no-brainer that water sports are big in Portugal. This includes everything from swimming, surfing, to sailing and more.
Track & Field – Loads of popular events are lumped into this category, but the big shot has gotta be running, whether marathons or sprints. Portugal’s pumped out legends in these areas, like Rosa Mota, Carlos Lopes, and Francis Obikwelu.
Convenient payment systems
Since online casinos are above board and licensed in Portugal, you won’t hit any snags when you whip out your bank card. Still, it’s not the top pick since there’s a touch of risk. For those wanting to keep their banking deets on the down low, we suggest e-wallets or other alternatives. We’ll spill the beans on this in our roundup of Portugal’s fave payment methods.
One of the easiest and most go-to methods, but it’s got a couple of hang-ups. You gotta share your banking info, and cashing out can be a drag, depending on your bank. But its simplicity and commonness is why so many peeps in Portugal rock it.
Besides card deposits, you’ve got various bank methods. Direct bank transfers are an option, but the main bummer is the slow transaction speed. Still, there’s a bunch of third-party banking services that give you a workaround, like Zimpler, Multibanco, Interac, and loads more.
If you’re sick of traditional banking methods, e-wallets are a solid go-to. Setting one up is a breeze and won’t chew up too much of your time. Once you’ve set up and activated your account, you can top it up however you like and then spend your cash like a baller. Whether you’re splurging online or betting big in online casinos/bookies, it’s all good. In Portugal, PayPal’s the top dog, but Skrill and Neteller are also worth a shout.
This bad boy is one of the hottest services offering prepaid cards. They’re pretty much like your regular bank cards, but here’s the catch – they’re only good for online use, and they come with set amounts. It’s a killer way to keep your gaming and everyday budgets separate and to keep your bank info on the down-low.
Yet another fresh alternative to bank cards are cryptocurrencies. You can snag some either directly from exchanges or through specialized services. Cubits and Coinspaid are the big names in Portugal. After buying your crypto, shoot it over to your online casino account, and you’ll be in the game in no time.
NOTIFY Like most places, Portugal doesn’t treat cryptocurrencies like regular cash. So, the usual rules and guarantees don’t apply. Still, buying or selling crypto, or using it as an investment, is all fair game in the country. Neither the bigwigs in the government nor the Central Bank are trying to meddle in the industry, so crypto businesses don’t have to jump through extra hoops.
Popular gambling providers in Portugal
Let’s put the spotlight on some of the big-shot providers in Portugal, give you a bit of their backstory, and spill the beans on why they’re such big deals. In general, since Portugal’s been rolling the dice in the gambling industry for a good while now, locals know the difference between the real deal and the duds. So, if a provider’s churning out trash, they ain’t making waves with the Portuguese crowd.
This is a young gun in the industry, founded by none other than Teddy Sagi, the big brain behind the famous Playtech. In just a decade, Skywind Games has cranked out about 300 different titles. One of their hottest games, “Chilli Festival” from 2018, has gamers worldwide head over heels, and Portugal’s no exception.
This powerhouse quickly shot up the ranks and is recognized globally. Their slot series, like “Bonanza”, set the gold standard. They’re known for top-notch graphics and wicked gameplay, all jazzed up with a variety of themes.
This fresh-faced provider is a part of the big league company, Pariplay. In just a few years of grinding, they’ve rolled out a whopping 100 different games. Their games sport a slick design and killer graphics that get you hooked from the get-go.
These guys are tight with the previously mentioned bigwig, Pragmatic Play. They’re the masterminds behind some blockbuster series like Big Bass Bonanza, Tic Tac Toe, and a ton more. If you’ve ever taken a spin on Pragmatic Play slots, chances are you’re familiar with Reel Kingdom’s handiwork.
The OG Swedish provider that’s been making waves on the global scene for a hot minute. They didn’t just make their mark with smash hits like Gonzo’s Quest but also their keen eye for detail in game development. The plethora of game mechanics in their slots can only be rivaled by the sheer variety of themes. And let’s not forget about those juicy progressive jackpots in some of their games, which are just the cherry on top.
Land-based casinos in Portugal
As noted, brick-and-mortar casinos are all legit in Portugal, but not everywhere. There are 10 prime gambling zones, which just so happen to be major tourist hotspots. As long as you set up shop in one of these zones and got that golden ticket (license), you’re good to go. The size of these casinos varies, so we’ve cherry-picked the two biggest and baddest in Portugal.
Casino Estoril – One of the golden oldies in Portugal, and it’s the biggest kid on the block. Built in 1916, this joint has seen it all, but with a few facelifts and extensions over the years, it’s still standing tall. Managed by the heavy-hitters, Estoril Sol, they’ve got three establishments under their belt in Portugal. For the longest time, this casino was the top dog in Europe until Perla Casino & Hotel in Serbia snagged the title.
The game arsenal here is enough to blow any seasoned gambler’s mind. We’re talking about a staggering 1,000 gaming machines (slots and video poker from various devs), and over 35 gaming tables (roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker). They’ve even got their own poker room, built for a big crowd. They’ve hosted the big league poker tourney – the WSOP.
For the high rollers, there’s a swanky VIP area. And if you fancy a break, there’s a concert hall, nightclub, art gallery, restaurants, and bars galore in the building.
Casino da Póvoa – This joint is the second oldest gig in Portugal. Popped its doors open in 1934 and has been running the show since then. The bigwigs behind the curtain? Varzim Sol. What’s dope about this place? They’ve got a killer cultural lineup. Fancy a show? Check out their posh concert hall and theater. They host gigs and performances pretty often.
Talking games? Well, it’s not as loaded as the previous casino, but still packs a punch. Around 700 slot machines are up for grabs, from the good old classics to the hottest new titles. For those card sharks and dice rollers, there are about 20 tables to dive into – think baccarat, blackjack, and French roulette. And hey, they’ve got their own poker room! Whether you’re looking to cash in or compete in tourneys, they’ve got you. High-rollers, there’s a VIP lounge just for you.
Lotteries and other gambling entertainment in Portugal
Lotteries? They’ve been a thing in Portugal since 1783. They’ve seen ups and downs but, man, they’re still a big hit. One of the top dogs in the game is Jogos Santa Casa. Let’s shoot the breeze about some of their top-notch lotteries.
Totoloto – The biggest lottery in Portugal, where a ticket will set you back just €1. All you gotta do? Pick 5 numbers from 1 to 49, plus a bonus ball (1 to 13). Jackpot starts at a cool €1 million and keeps growing if no one bags it. The largest pot? Snagged on October 28, 2015, at a whopping €19 million. Drawings go down twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday, 7 PM local time. There are 5 prize tiers up for grabs.
Probability of fallout
5 + bonus ball
1 to 24 789 492
1 to 2 065 791
1 to 9 389
1 to 218
1 to 16
Euromilhões – Portugal’s take on the famous EuroMillions. To get in on the action, buy a ticket for €2.5. Pick 5 numbers from 1 to 50 and 2 bonus balls, or just let the machine do its thing. Draws? Tuesdays and Fridays, 7 PM sharp.
Here’s the kicker: when you buy a Euromilhões ticket, you’re also in the Portuguese lottery M1lhão. They’ll whip up a special number for you, giving you a shot at a €1 million pot. Euromilhões’ main prize pot is a growing beast, rolling over to the next draw if it’s not won. No base jackpot here – it all depends on ticket sales, and can skyrocket up to €230 million.
There are 13 prize tiers in total. Depending on the combo of main and bonus numbers you hit, you could be in for a win. We’ve got a massive table breaking down all the prize categories, combos, and odds – check it out!
Probability of fallout
5 + 2 bonus numbers
1 to 139,838,160
5 + 1 bonus number
1 to 6,991,908
1 to 3,107,515
4 + 2 bonus numbers
1 to 621,503
4 + 1 bonus number
1 to 31,076
3 + 2 bonus numbers
1 to 14,126
1 to 13,812
2 + 2 bonus numbers
1 to 986
3 + 1 bonus number
1 to 707
1 to 314
1 + 2 bonus numbers
1 to 188
5 + 1 bonus number
1 to 50
1 to 12
It’s also worth tipping the hat to another card-slinging game that’s hit the big time in Portugal: poker. Whether you’re into the old-school face-to-face or the digital showdowns, Portugal’s got you covered. Looking for some live action? Pop into any of the casinos in Portugal, and you’re bound to stumble into a poker room; some joints even have pretty swanky setups for poker alone.
As for online poker? Totally above board in Portugal, but here’s the catch: the poker site’s gotta have a Portuguese license. The big players in the online scene accepting Portuguese punters are PokerStars, 888poker, GGpoker, and a few others.
Reliability and safety of online casinos in Portugal
When it comes to playing it safe, Portugal ain’t playing games. The local watchdog, SRIJ, doesn’t just hand out licenses willy-nilly. They keep a hawk’s eye on these online operators and even give punters a chance to air their grievances. Scamming users? That’s a big no-no. One slip up, and these operators could be in some hot water, maybe even kissing their license goodbye.
Got beef with a casino? If you feel you’ve been dealt a bad hand or they’re breaking the rules, you can take it straight to the top, the gambling commission that is. Drop them a line through their website, file a complaint, and you’re in business. But here’s the million-dollar question: what if you’re rolling the dice with a foreign online casino? Is it still safe?
Breathe easy – it’s just as legit as the local guys. International commissions, like MGA and Curacao, keep their operators on a tight leash. If things go pear-shaped, you can reach out directly to these bodies. Shoot ’em an email, spill the beans, and you should get a reply in a few weeks.
To wrap things up, Portugal’s gambling scene’s been buzzing for a good while now. Which means, whether you’re into slots, cards, or betting on the ponies, Portugal’s got the full monty. And most of it’s all legit and regulated.
While in Portugal, you can dive into brick-and-mortar casinos and poker rooms, scratch a lottery ticket, or even make some sports bets. The cherry on top? The booming online scene – casinos, betting shops, and those big-time poker sites. A chunk of ’em are operating under the watchful eye of the SRIJ commission.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are online casinos legal in Portugal?
Yes, online casinos are completely legal, provided they are licensed by the local Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ). However, offshore online casinos operating outside the jurisdiction of Portuguese laws are also available to players.
Are there any land-based casinos in Portugal?
There are 10 special gaming zones in Portugal, in which there are legal land-based casinos. And some of the local casinos boast a really impressive size and gaming arsenal.
Is sports betting legal in Portugal?
Sports betting is legal both in the format of land-based betting shops and in online variations. These types of establishments must be licensed by the local SRIJ commission.
Can I play poker in Portugal?
Poker in Portugal is available in both land-based and online versions. In offline format you can play it in any land-based casino, and as for online poker – it is available in licensed poker rooms.
Can I play lotteries in Portugal?
Yes, you can, both in local lotteries and in major European lotteries such as Euromillions, which is called Euromilhões. If you participate in this lottery, you automatically participate in the local lottery M1lhão, which has a jackpot of 1 million euros.