Betting in Brazil is a complicated issue that has been a hot talking point for the legislative bodies for over 75 years. And that makes it one of the most fascinating countries for gambling in the world, particularly in today’s modern environment.
Here’s all you need to know about the current climate in the South American country, along with what to expect over the coming years.
The Criminal Contravention Act 1941
Prior to 1941, betting on Brazilian soil was perfectly legal. That all changed thanks to the introduction of the Criminal Contravention Act 1941. This law made almost all forms of gambling betting illegal. This covers casino gambling, sports betting, and wagering on any event based on luck.
Since 1946, it has been possible to make gambling legal. But this is only possible when an independent legislation is used to bypass the existing 1941 act. So for the most part, gambling operations in Brazil are banned.
There are some exceptions to the rules, with horse racing being one of the most notable. Betting at the horse track is fine, as long as the operators have gained the right permits. This makes the sport of kings a popular option throughout the major cities.
Throughout the years, other individual laws have been passed. At one time, bingo was allowed as a fundraising activity. However, this ruling was soon overturned after it became a target for illegal activities.
Essentially, betting on sporting activities is sometimes available at the designated venues. As for casino and luck games, though, the laws prohibit almost all activity.
While betting is illegal (or at least very limited), that doesn’t stop Brazilians from placing bets through unlicensed vendors. Unsurprisingly, soccer is a common source of betting due to the country’s passion for the beautiful game. There are a variety of other sports that will see illegal wagering while casino games and similar operations can also be found. In total, Brazil’s illegal gambling industry is believed to generate around R$20bn each year.
Nowadays, though, illegal operators aren’t the only option for Brazilian punters. The growth of online gaming outlets has moved the goalposts forever. Many of the big global companies offer their services to this demographic, and the local authorities cannot do much to stop them. Thanks to those international internet operations, the lack of legal shops seems a little redundant.
And this is one of the chief reasons that the legal standing is under constant scrutiny.
As things stand, the Brazilian governments are losing out on the huge R$20bn industry. After years of discussions, the continued influx of online betting in the region has forced the authorities to take greater care. The common belief is that betting in official outlets will become legal at some stage in the not too distant future. Once this inevitably happens, it will be better for everyone – not least the punter.
In the meantime, Brazilians will continue to place wagers on soccer, horse racing, and other sports via online outlets.