Portugal to hold parliamentary conference on esports regulation, recognition

Lisbon, Portuga
Lisbon, Portugal. Image credit: Shutterstock

UPDATE 02/07/24: Esports Insider has updated this article to provide additional information about the conference. This includes adding a quote from Portuguese MP André Pinotes Batista and more clearly defining the involvement of FPDE and the Portuguese Socialist Party.

A parliamentary conference in Portugal is set to take place tomorrow (July 2nd) to discuss the need to regulate and recognise esports in the country. 

Called #PensarEsports, the first-ever parliamentary conference is being supported by the Portuguese Socialist Party with the Portuguese Electronic Sports Federation (FPDE) promoting the event.

The conference aims to help create a regulatory framework for esports in the country. This includes discussing topics such as esports’ recognition as a sport, how esports can affect employment and the economy, legal frameworks and the impact of esports on mental health.

ESI Lisbon 2024

Taking place at the António Almeida Santos Auditorium in Lisbon, some of the stakeholders that will take part in the conference include José Manuel Constantino (President of the Olympic Committee of Portugal), Vitor Pataco (President of the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth) and Raul Faria (Head of Gaming and Esports of the Portuguese Football Association), among others.  

Esports Insider’s Co-Founder and Managing Director, Sam Cooke, will also deliver an opening address, via video, during the conference. 

#PensarEsports is being championed by Portuguese MPs Miguel Costa Matos and André Pinotes Batista, both of which are members of the Socialist Party. Batista has been vocal about his support for esports in Portugal in recent years, with the politician regularly advocating for the sector.

Batista told Esports Insider: “All great paths begin with a first step. In this sense, the conference on July 2nd will go down in history as the foundational moment in the regulation of esports in Portugal. It will promote good health practices, provide labour and tax guarantees for all stakeholders, and create a more attractive ecosystem from a business perspective.

“When a legislator dives into unexplored seas, he has the duty and obligation to listen to the desires and problems of the community his decisions will affect. This is what is required. This is what, with everyone’s voice, we will achieve.”

The move is seemingly looking to create a clear government stance on esports in the country, which has not seen direct government support despite developments in the private sector. Multinational services company Teleperformance unveiled a €1.2m (~£1.0m) esports arena in Lisbon in 2022, and the Portuguese Football Federation created an esports campaign in 2023. The country’s state-owned broadcaster, RTP, has a dedicated esports coverage vertical called RTP Arena.

Later this year, Esports Insider will host its flagship esports, gaming & creator economy business conference in the Portuguese capital.

Taking place across September 23rd- 25th, ESI Lisbon is set to welcome over 1,000 professionals from the esports, video game and creator economy sectors. To kick off the B2B conference, André Pinotes Batista will be doing the opening address at ESI Lisbon.

Alongside its panel and networking opportunities, ESI Lisbon will include the first edition of Esports Leaders, as well as the 2024 editions of the ESI Hall of Fame 2024, start-ups competition The Clutch and the ESI Film Festival. Find out more and secure your tickets here.’

Tom Daniels
Tom has been part of Esports Insider's team since October 2020 and is currently the platform's Editor. When not playing Football Manager, he enjoys reporting on the mobile esports scene as well as the betting sector.