Gambling business in Brazil is prohibited as of 2017. The government is discussing a package of laws on gambling legislation.
Already, the gambling market in Brazil is one of the largest in Latin America. The Brazilian Legal Gaming Institute (Instituto Brasileiro Jogo Legal, IJL) is a non-profit government organization that researches gambling in the country. According to the statistics she presented, the gambling market here reaches 6.4 billion USD annually. All these cash flows are illegal.
Land-based and online casinos are prohibited in Brazil. Roughly 200,000 players travel regularly to neighboring Uruguay. Thus, Brazil annually loses about 2 billion USD of possible taxes, which could go directly to the state budget.
As of 2017, gambling in Brazil is covered only in the Law of Misdemeanours, Decree Law No. 3688/1941. Gambling is completely prohibited. Participation in and organization of gambling is punished with a prison term of 3 months to one year. Also, players are fined a large amount. All property is confiscated from land-based casinos.
The named law was issued in 1941, and has not changed since then. In Brazil, there is no distinction between land-based and online casinos – both types are illegal. The law prohibits any provision of access to gambling (including online).
However, in the last decade, the approach to gambling has softened somewhat. For example, poker has become more lenient in Brazil.
Since 2014, the government has been actively discussing bill 186/2014 (Senate Bill No. 186/2014). Thanks to him, private operators of bingo, sports betting and casino games should be legalized.
The second bill is House Bill No. 442/1991. He pursues similar goals. One of these laws must be approved. The bill is expected to enter into force around the end of 2017.
Depending on which act is adopted, the regulator will be a state bank (Caixa Econômica Federal, CEF) or a new supervisory body. The bank is currently dealing with lottery issues and is issuing permits for lottery operators.
Both bills stipulate that the government will give concessions to those wishing to gamble. Additionally to this:
- by Senate Bill No. 186/2014 the Minister of Finance will designate financial agencies for licensing and site inspection;
- by House Bill No. 442/1991 the state will issue licenses for state and animal game lotteries (Jogo do Bicho). Municipalities will license and inspect bingo on their territory.
Jogo do Bicho is a lottery where bets are placed on animals representing numbers. For example, one is an oyster, two is an eagle, and 25 is a cow. The only province where this game is currently allowed is Paraiba.
The regulator of the game in Paraíba is the Lottery of Paraíba (LOTEP), which issues licenses to lottery agents. In the provincial capital, for example, there are 15 licensed gambling establishments. They all pay a monthly tax, which varies depending on the size of the city. The central city of the province of João Pessoa charges R $ 6,000 from each establishment (just over USD 1,900).
Conditions for obtaining a license
According to Senate Bill No. 186/2014 licenses will be issued following a tender. House Bill No. 442/1991 establishes that the state, after such a tender, will issue concessions for casinos and national lotteries.
Both bills require the operator to have a ground office in Brazil. The company must provide evidence of its solvency: technical expertise of its equipment, confirm its creditworthiness and the fact that all taxes have been paid.
Legal games in Brazil
Some games in Brazil have an undefined status because they are not defined solely as games of chance. For example, Texas Hold’em is considered a game that requires skill of the players rather than luck.
Bingo was previously regulated by a law of 1993 (Law No. 8,672 / 1993). Sports organizations could conduct bingo as an additional source of income. The inspection was carried out by the National Institute for Sports Development. After 2004, bingo was also banned.
The lottery is strictly state monopoly. Caixa Econômica Federal grants lottery licenses to private operators.
Both bills will legalize:
- betting and sports betting;
- slot machines (80% of the bets will have to be paid in the form of winnings);
- bingo and lottery.
Senate Bill No. 186/2014 will permit the maintenance of casino hotels. Forty percent of all establishments will be located in the north and west of the country. The license term is 25 years with a possible extension. Online casinos will be controlled exclusively by the state-owned Caixa Econômica Federal.
House Bill No. 442/1991 will allow casino hotels, but in a slightly different way. Each province will have up to three casinos, the number depends on how many people live in the territory. One operator will be able to obtain only one license in the province and no more than five throughout the country. Permit period – 30 years with the possibility of extension. Only operators with land-based casinos will be able to run online casinos.
Online casinos in Brazil are illegal. Nevertheless, Internet users find access to the best foreign platforms. Most Popular Resources:
- Royal Vegas – Provides mostly Microgaming software. Bonus – 1,200 USD;
- JackpotCity Casino is the majority of Microgaming’s software. Bonus – 1,600 USD;
- 888 Casino – games from different manufacturers. Bonus – 1,500 USD;
- Royal Panda is a varied assortment of games. Bonus – 100 USD;
- Euro Palace is mainly software from Microgaming. Bonus – 500 USD.
International operators provide interfaces in multiple languages for the convenience of their customers.
Popular slot machines in the country
Here is a list of the most popular slot machines in Brazil:
- Top Cat;
- Twin Spin;
- Count Duckula;
Top Cat is a 5-reel slot game from Blueprint Gaming. The slot has a chance to play a bonus game with a progressive jackpot, use wild reels, respins and five interactive bonus rounds.
Twin Spin is a five reel slot from NetEnt with 243 ways to make winning combinations. Several reels can be the same.
Motörhead is a slot machine from NetEnt with 76 pay lines and 5 reels, which can fit a different number of cells. Some symbols can turn into others, forming combinations. The slot has the opportunity to receive symbols that appear in stacks and free spins.
Count Duckula is a 5-reel, 20-payline slot from Blueprint Gaming. Forty lines are available in the bonus game. It is possible to get a jackpot and activate 4 random bonuses, as well as open 5 bonus rounds.
Winstar is a 5-reel, 10-payline slot machine from NetEnt. There is a chance to get a jackpot in the amount of the line bet multiplied by x5000 times. Some symbols can turn into other pictures, complementing combinations.
While the government continues to argue about which law to pass, large foreign firms are already applying for permission to build land-based casinos. In April 2017, the president of the economic development department of the province of Minas Gerais said in an interview that three large companies have already expressed a desire to build a hotel-casino with them. It is known that two firms are from Spain, and the third is from the United States.
In May of the same year, the famous casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson met with the mayor of Rio de Janeiro. The subject of the meeting was the idea to build a complex worth 8 billion USD. Apparently, a new casino will be part of the tourist complex.
As for online gambling, the authorities are also introducing various innovations. In July 2017, one of the senators proposed to ban Brazilians from using credit and debit cards for payments in online casinos. Thus, the authorities hope to reduce the risk that gamblers spend too much money on gambling. It is known that already now Brazilians spend 951 million USD annually on foreign websites.
The introduction of new gambling legislation will allow Brazil to open up a large gambling market. The largest country in Latin America has the potential to become one of the most powerful and fastest growing markets. Revenues to the Brazilian budget from the gambling business can become a serious source of income.