Publication date: 20 Sep 2023
On 14 September 2023, the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil approved the government’s gambling bill. The new document legalizes and regulates sports betting and online casinos.
- The new Bill 3626/23 will replace President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s interim measure, which was passed in July 2023.
New Gambling Law in Brazil 2023: What is important?
- Only companies registered under Brazilian law, headquartered and administered in Brazil will be able to obtain a license for gambling activities in the country. Therefore, foreign bookmakers and casinos will not be able to operate legally in Brazil. Operators may need to find a local agent to comply with the requirements.
- Also, operators will need to have a minimum amount of share capital, be a member of a sports ethics organization and meet various technical requirements.
- The license fee will be R$30 million (US$46.10 million). One license entitles the operator to offer games through one website/app. The license is valid for 3 years.
- Legal bookmakers and casinos will pay 18% income tax. Further, after taking into account additional contributions, this figure rises to 31-34%.
- Gambling operators in Brazil will be required to implement an anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing mechanism, as well as to comply with all obligations to ensure the safety of players.
- It is prohibited to: offer bonus bets to customers; offer any credit products for betting; advertise without a license; gamble to people under 18 years of age; and place bets to sporting event participants, betting shop management and regulators.
- To combat the grey market, new rules will be implemented: payments through institutions authorized by the Central Bank, withdrawal of money from a gambling account is only available to a Brazilian bank account.
The approval of the bill by the Chamber of Deputies is an important step towards the full legitimisation of betting and gambling in Brazil! The bill will now go to the Federal Senate of Brazil, which is expected to make comments in 45 days (i.e., November 2023). We are waiting and stay tuned for more news!
Read more about the operation of the Brazilian gambling market next.
Brazil’s gambling market is one of the most promising in the world. A country with a huge population and a traditional love of gambling has very little regulation. While the authorities are just beginning to approve laws, there is a unique opportunity to promote online casino and betting services in a profitable and effective way.
How is the Brazilian gambling market regulated?
As of September 2023, there are only provisional measures in place (document 3626/23, which was signed by President Lula da Silva in July 2023) to allow the operation of bookmakers.
We can expect a new law regulating gambling and betting in Brazil no earlier than November 2023.
How much money does the Brazilian gambling market bring in?
However, the main argument for the need to regulate and legalize gambling in Brazil is money. In 2020, the consulting firm KPMG together with the Remote Gaming Association (RGA) estimated the unregulated Brazilian gambling market at over $2.1 billion.
In turn, the Brazilian Legal Gaming Institute team estimated the value of all current gambling in Brazil– illegal and underground – in the area of 6 billion dollars per year. In total, according to government experts, the turnover from gambling in Brazil, which is “in the shadows”, exceeds the amount of 20 billion reals (about 5.3 billion dollars).
In 2017, legal lotteries brought $475 million to the Brazilian budget. But Brazil’s National Lottery is represented in the country by 13,000 offline outlets, while the underground lottery Jogo do Bicho has 350,000 outlets. This lottery is valued at $3.1 billion (12 billion reals) per year.
*What is Brazil’s national game of Jogo do Bicho, the game of animals, read on.
How to attract Brazilian players to casino and betting sites?
The Federative Republic of Brazil is located in South America, being the continent’s largest country by area and population. The population of the country is 212 million people. The largest cities: the capital city Brasilia, São Paulo (the most populated), Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Fortaleza.
It is a secular state, but the majority of inhabitants are Catholics.
The main language is Portuguese, English is spoken by no more than 10% of the population.
The official currency is the Brazilian real (about US$0.2 as of September 2023).
The ENV Media platform published the results of a survey conducted in mid-2023. As a result, experts found out what motivates Brazilians to bet or play in casinos:
- budget possibilities or a one-time income that is not a pity to spend – 48%;
- thrill and excitement – 40%
- quality online games, their high level – 31%;
- advice from relatives and friends -25%;
- opportunity to play legal games – 24%;
- accessibility of gambling – 23%,
- advertising offers and promotions from operators – 20%.
According to the survey, among players from Brazil, 51% are women and 49% are men. The most active users of gambling and betting sites are between 25 and 40 years old (35%), followed by 41 to 56 years old (28%), young people between 18 and 24 years old (22%) and least of all those who are 57 to 70 years old (16%).
The state of São Paulo has the highest proportion of players, with almost a quarter (24%), followed by Rio de Janeiro (14%). Gambling and betting are consistently popular in the states of Rio Grande do Sul (7%), Bahia (6%), Ceará (6%), Paraná, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, Goiás and the Federal District (about 5% each).
By far the largest share of players graduated from at least high school, at 48%. In second place are university and college graduates (44%).
Individuals with stable jobs make up about half of all players – 49%. Nearly two-thirds (64%) have some kind of job. At the same time, the shares of retirees, housewives and students are quite noticeable – 7% each. ENV Media experts regard this as a sign of the maturity of the market, where constant improvement of products and an established gaming culture gives almost all demographic groups the opportunity to find their offer.
Which casino games are Brazilians choosing?
According to ENV Media’s July 2023 data, the most popular gambling games in Brazil are:
- 58% – lottery;
- 27% – scratch cards;
- 16% – card games (poker, blackjack and others);
- 16% – slots and puzzles;
- 15% – roulette and casino games.
Another 32% choose sports betting. According to Similarweb, in August 2023, Brazilians chose bet365, betnacional, Betano, Pixbet and bet7k (all in the domain zone.com) for sports betting.
What sports are popular in Brazil?
- The most popular sport for betting in Brazil is football (including futsal, indoor football, and beach football). About 75% of the population follows football competitions in one way or another.
- Also, there are a lot of bets on basketball and volleyball (and beach volleyball).
- Motorsport and Formula 1 races are very popular.
- Brazil is the home of martial arts: Capoeira and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Therefore, competitions in these sports are traditionally popular.
- Logically, because of the climatic conditions in the country there is little interest in “winter” sports (hockey, biathlon, skiing, figure skating).
- In addition to conventional sports betting, sweepstakes are very popular in Brazil.
- Brazil is the third largest esports market in the world. According to Newzoo, there were 76 million gamers in the country in 2018. Google Play and App Store game downloads were in line with global trends – Fortnite, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike are popular here.
- What is Brazil’s national game of Jogo do Bicho, the game of animals? In 1892, the owner of a zoo in Rio de Janeiro started printing images of one of 25 animals on entrance tickets. In the centre of the zoo hung the picture covered with a canvas. In the evening, the canvas was removed and everyone could see the “animal of the day”. Ticket holders with this animal could expect bonuses. Soon it turned out that there are a lot of people who do not want to visit the zoo, but who willingly began to bet on the animal of the day. Since then, the lottery has changed considerably, but the general principle remains the same.
What payment systems work for the Brazilian gambling market?
The law in force since 2011 prohibits the use of credit and debit cards for payments within the gambling industry. Therefore, e-wallets are very common and popular in the country. There is also a local payment system Boleto Bancario, which allows you to transfer funds without the use of cards.
Gambling and betting creatives for Brazil: what to pay attention to
- Brazilians are very patriotic and love their country. The colors of the national flag and the very idea of national unity can be successfully used in advertising.
- According to a Google survey, 87% of players in Brazil play to distract themselves and relieve stress. Therefore, the advertising can emphasize the ease of entertainment, relaxation, a break from work and stress relief.
- Inhabitants of Brazil love a variety of promotions: special offers, bonuses, gifts, as well as the opportunity to save money.
- Due to the low penetration of English, it is necessary to translate all promotional materials into Portuguese. It is important to keep in mind that the local dialect is very different from the “official” Portuguese.
- An essential local peculiarity is that the highest temperatures are observed here during the winter months. Therefore, the campaign “Hot Winter” is more appropriate than, for example, “Hot Summer”.
Which traffic sources are popular in Brazil?
According to SimilarWeb for August 2023, the most popular among Brazilians are:
- Search engines: Google and Bing, ssyoutube.com and music.youtube.com.
- Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter, Tiktok.
Gambling regulation in Brazil: history and perspectives
A complete ban on all forms of gambling in Brazil began in 1946. This was due to the need to control the criminal situation in the country after the World War II.
In 2001, a loophole in the legislation was found, allowing the opening of bingo parlours (“bingus”). Bingo machines in Brazil could operate if they were supported by a non-profit or religious institution. Within a few years, more than 100 parlours opened, where about 100 thousand slot machines were placed. Eventually, the annual income to the country’s budget from the activities of these gambling establishments was more than R$60 million (about $16 million). Until now, bingo games in Brazil are legal if they are held “for charitable purposes”.
In 2011, there was a law that banned the use of credit and debit cards for online and offline betting. Interestingly, an exception to the law was made in 2014 during the World Cup.
In 2012, poker began its rapid development in Brazil. The game was recognized as requiring certain skills and was removed from the category of “gambling”. As a consequence, many poker rooms appeared, including online ones. However, no regulatory body was created, so for poker tournaments in Brazil, the permission of the local authorities is enough. One more interesting fact: since 2015, there is a ban on playing poker online in public places.
In 2013, the Brazilian authorities legalized lotteries and horse racing. Nevertheless, the monopoly on the organization of these types of gambling and the ability to accept bets remained with the state.
Since 2014, the Senate has annually considered packages of amendments aimed at legalizing all gambling (including Brazil’s online casinos). None of them have been passed, but the trend is interesting: every year more and more politicians in Brazil are calling for the gambling legalization.
On 1 January 2019, Jair Bolsonaro became president of Brazil. He immediately publicly stated that he was in favour of the full legalization of all gambling in the country. However, in his opinion, in order to reduce the risks of corruption, lawmaking on this issue should be decentralized. In other words, all legal norms within the framework of gambling activities should be adopted at the discretion of individual regions, as it works in Canada and in the USA. As a result, a new regulatory law was never passed.
At present, Brazil’s gambling law does not regulate online gambling in any way. Legislative control is a start, and hopefully there will be some good news in the near future. Yet there are already such well-known European brands as Unibet, Betsson, MarathonBet, 188Bet, Betdaq, Betfair, Betfred, Betvictor, Ladbrokes, Mybet, Pinnacle Sports, TitanBet, Unibet and William Hill operating in the Brazilian market.
Meanwhile, neither casino nor bookmaker sites in Brazil are subject to blocking, and payments are also freely accepted.
Moreover, the Brazilian audience is huge, people are eager to have fun and are willing to pay money for it. Getting that money is our challenge! It’s time to choose the best offers from casinos and bookmakers that are expecting traffic from Brazil, and start delivering!
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