Live poker vs. Online poker in Portugal


Portugal is a lovely country located on the Iberian Peninsula and a population of nearly 10 million people. Like many other European countries, Portugal has decided to legalize gambling (both live and online), and the government has tight control over the entire industry.

Therefore, although it's possible to find online poker places in Portugal and live venues, these must go through a complex licensing process, and only the best sites like 888Poker can approve it. 

On the one hand, this is good news for players in terms of the safety of the games, but the offer is limited, and many times there are not enough tables to join. 

Live Poker in Portugal 

In total, 10 brick and mortar casinos in Portugal offer more than 200 tables and over 5,000 slots and all the regular games like blackjack, roulette, and, of course, poker. 

The largest casino in Europe is in Portugal: Casino Estoril, located in Lisbon, which is recognized because it opened its doors over 100 years ago and has about 27,000 square feet. This venue was home to the WSOP International Circuit in 2017. 

Portugal's capital, Lisbon, gives its name to a casino located in Parque das Nações, but if you want to run with some celebrities, you must visit the Casino Vilamoura in Quarteira. 

About half of the casinos have a monthly tournament grid with buy-ins from €100 on average and cash games from NL200 (blinds €1/€2). Some venues host annual series like the Figueira Poker Fest at Casino Figueira, which features a full week of tournaments and side events. 

We can conclude then that although the gaming offer is not massive (10 casinos for 10 million inhabitants), it's possible to find a poker game, although sometimes it will be necessary to take a plane to cover the distance.

Online Poker in Portugal 

On the other hand, online poker is legal in Portugal, and in 2016 the country decided to accept applications from overseas operators. 

In 2017, Portugal, France, Spain, and Italy signed a shared liquidity agreement to create a players' europool, which has benefited both players and operators. 

Portugal jumped in 2018, and since then, several tournament series has been held in the so-called "frespt" environment. 

In short, Portuguese players are only allowed to play poker on those sites that hold an active license from the SRIJ - Serviço de Regulação Inspeção de Jogos, the government office in charge of monitoring all online poker games within the country. 

As usual, a gray market has also developed to meet the needs of players who live far away from brick and mortar casinos, or those who don't like the current legal offer on the Internet. You should be aware of those sites as they are unregulated, and in case of any problem, you won't be backed by an authority. 

Thanks to the legalization of live and online poker in Portugal, nowadays, grinders can play from their homes without any problem, and virtual casinos have 24/7 action thanks to the shared liquidity with other European countries.


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