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Portugal – Portuguese bingo halls get the nod for electronic terminals

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New rules which allow for electronic bingo terminals in Portugal have been released by the Ministry of Economy.

Going into force on April 13, the rules outline how electronic bingo terminals may be installed and operated. According to the preamble of the new law changes were necessary in order “to keep pace with technological developments and invest in the modernisation of bingo gaming operations through the use of modern tools offered by new technologies.”

The new rules state that electronic bingo terminals may only be installed “in a separate room or room independent of the room from where traditional bingo is practiced, with the sound insulation necessary so that its operation does not disturb the running of the traditional bingo room.” In addition the number of electronic bingo terminals may not be more than half of the number of the positions set up in the traditional bingo hall.

60 per cent of revenue minus tax will be awarded in prizes compared with 55 per cent for traditional bingo. Crucially the new law also allows operators to offer a national prize pool and states that bingo terminals may be part of a linked network. Operators will initially be able to form a prize fund with a lump sum made up of €100,000. After that time the accumulated bingo prize will be made up from €0.50 from the prizes awarded for each game. The new law was developed after consultation with the Portuguese Association of Bingos Associação Portuguesa de Bingos, and unions representing workers in the sector.
There are currently sixteen bingo halls in Portugal. Nine are owned and run by local sports clubs and one bingo hall is located in a casino. Five are located in capital Lisbon, two in Porto while the rest are located throughout Portugal.

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