ASAE hones in on illegal gambling

ASAE hones in on illegal gambling

Despite the government dragging its feet on a new gambling law, ASAE – the food and economic safety authority – is keeping illegal gamblers on their toes, seeking out non-authorised casinos up and down the country. Only last week, another was reportedly shut down in the Porto area.
Talking to Jornal de Notícias, ASAE inspector Rute Serra was quoted as saying the authority estimates illegal gamblers are cheating the State out of €200 million every year.
“It is hard for us to give out precise numbers about the money circulating in this sector, as we are talking about a non-regulated black market,” she said. “But we estimate the State’s fiscal loss connected to these operations to be of around €200 million.”
“We have already closed down around 25 illegal casino rooms in the north of Portugal,” she added, saying the phenomenon was “still on the rise” with a significant increase in the number of back room games in sports clubs and so-called cultural associations.
Earlier this year, the “problematic situation of gambling in Portugal was discussed by national media after the government promised the Troika approval for a new piece of legislation by the end of February 2014”, writes online website Poker News.
Despite fears by the European gaming association that Portugal could be about to introduce a new gambling monopoly with the EU, the government has so far failed to follow through with its promise, and no new gambling bill has yet been introduced.