Casinos tax-exempt to 2023
The Portuguese government and the Portuguese Association of Casinos have reached an agreement whereby the industry will not have to pay taxes until next year.
So, Portuguese casinos will be exempt from paying the usual annual minimum tax on gaming revenues until 2022 according to the Jornal de Nóticas.
The government and association agree that casinos have seen their profits fall by around 50% since 2020 and started off the first quarter of this year in paralysis because of the lockdown.
The Minister of the Economy has said that this inactivity at the start of this year “made existing offsets pointless” and so the government and association are currently working on a framework from which the impact of the pandemic and its restrictions can be gauged.
JN says that the negotiations will also likely involve an extraordinary extension of licence concessions for Estoril which would also involve the casinos of Lisbon, Estoril and Figueira da Foz and which was due to expire in December 2020.
Still to be decided is the position of casino concessions at Espinho, Póvoa de Varzim and the Algarve whose licensing contracts end in 2023, while the licences for the casinos at Troia and Chaves only expire in 2032.
According to the Estoril Sol Group, “a general agreement” has already been reached to bailout a sector which has suffered “losses without precedents”.
Casinos estimate that revenues fell to €159 million (at least half of what they had been in 2019) although online gaming, already a threat to traditional gaming in casinos, has climbed by 57% to €336.3 million.