Population July 2013: 10.8 million
GDP 2012: 153.7 Billion EUR
GDP per capita: 16,900 EUR
Taxation for lotteries: a.o. 20% on prizes above € 5,000 (since 2013)
Online Gambling


Authorisations for gaming in Portugal from the state are awarded for fixed periods of time and are subject to strict control and regulation. The exclusive right at the national level to operate lotteries and lottery-like games is granted to the charity entity Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML).

Prizes of the lottery were exempt from a tax levy until 2013. In that year, in an attempt to bolster the state coffers, a 20% tax on prizes above € 5,000 was introduced. This delivered over € 45 million to the state coffers in 2013.

Santa Casa also has a monopoly on the online offering of games of chance. It offers lottery tickets and sports betting online. However, the government has announced plans to liberalize its online gambling market in order to raise more taxes.


Small charity lotteries are defined as temporary games and are authorised on a case per case basis by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. As far as we know, no charity lotteries exist in Portugal that meet the criteria of a charity lottery. The lottery mentioned below does, however, distribute part of the sales to good causes.



    This charity entity was founded in 1493 and has exploited the national lottery since 1783. The SCML has, since the 1960s, also been granted a concession to organise the toto (Totobola, Totogolo), the lotto (Loto2) and the instant lottery (Lotaria Instantânea). In 1991, the SCML became a public organisation. All proceeds are destined for good causes. It was granted the monopoly rights to offer its services online in 2003.

    In 2012 sales amounted to € 1,729 million of which € 946 million (55%) was awarded as prize money. Taxes amounted to € 75 million (4%). Income to beneficiaries amounted to € 534 million (↑1.6% compared to 2011). This one third of turnover (31%) went to projects related to health, society, culture and sports, carried out by SCML itself or other state funded non-profit organisations. The beneficiaries receive funding mostly through different ministries.

    SCML is subject to control of a special advisory and a supervisory board. The SCML falls under the authority of the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity and the director and the members of the board are appointed by decree of the Prime Minister and the Government. The commercialisation of the lottery tickets is taken care of by almost 4,500 points of sale throughout the country, of which Campião is the largest. For more information visit: www.jogossantacasa.pt