The current licences are set to expire on 31 December 2022, following previous licensing extensions which were the result of the general Covid-19-associated decline in the land-based gaming trade.
The public tenders will be open for 30 days and will grant the winner the exclusive rights to offer games of chance in the regions, with the process open to domestic businesses, as well as international operators with a branch in Portugal.
The qualification criteria for the tender process are that the interested party must be a public limited company with offices based in either an EU-member state or a European Economic Area country that is a signatory to certain anti-money laundering, fraud and tax administrative cooperation agreements.
Wood manufacturing business Amorim operates the Figueira da Foz venue, Casino Figueira, having previously purchased the Sociedade Figueira Praia, SA, the business that had held the concession.
The other concession, Casino Estoril, is operated by Stanley Ho-owned business the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM), which ultimately owns Macau concessionaire SJM.
The public tender process will happen in the context of a slowdown for the gambling sector in Portugal. In Q1 the land-based gambling sector declined 7.2% year-on-year to €53.9m, while revenue declined further as the number of registered players plummeted in Q2.