Publication date: 15 Jun 2022
The Brazilian gambling market is one of the most promising in the world. The country with a huge population and traditional love of gambling has very little regulation. While the authorities are just beginning to approve the laws, here is a unique opportunity for the profitable and effective promotion of online casino services and betting offices.
Gambling regulation in Brazil: history and facts
A complete ban on all types of gambling in Brazil began in 1946. This was due to the need of controlling the criminal situation in the country after the end of World War II. Traditionally, all Brazilian gambling and betting laws do not have a clear division between the online and offline sectors. Therefore, current regulations and future reforms apply equally to both land-based operators and online activities. In 2001, a loophole was found in the law allowing bingo parlors (“bingus”) to open.
Bingo machines in Brazil could operate if they were supported by a non-profit or religious organization. Within a few years, more than 100 arcades were opened, where about 100,000 slot machines were placed. As a result, the annual revenue to the country’s budget from the activities of these gambling establishments was more than 60 million reals (about $16 million). Until now, bingo games are still legal in Brazil, if they are held “for charitable purposes”. In 2011, a law was passed that banned the use of credit and debit cards for online and offline betting. It is interesting to know that in 2014, during the FIFA World Cup, an exception was made to the law.
In 2012, poker began a 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 controlling agency was created, so the permission of local authorities is enough to hold poker tournaments in Brazil. And one more interesting fact: since 2015 there has been a ban on playing poker online in public places.
In 2013, the Brazilian authorities legalized lotteries and horse racing. However, the monopoly on the organization of these types of gambling and the ability to accept bets remained with the state. However, this was the first step toward the legality of gambling in Brazil. Further, every year since 2014, the Senate has considered packages of amendments aimed at legalizing all gambling (including Brazil’s online casinos). None of them have been passed, but an interesting trend is that every year more and more Brazilian politicians call for the legalization of gambling. For example, in 2017, at a parliamentary hearing, 262 deputies out of 513 present supported a bill to legalize casinos and sports betting in the country. As a result, a bill on the legalization of sports betting was already fully approved in 2018. After publication and a public opinion poll, 1,800 amendments and comments were made to it. Unfortunately, this led to further development, so (as of summer 2021) the law did not come into force. Within the framework of this law, it is planned to pay 3 billion Brazilian reals (approximately $735 million) to obtain a license, and the monthly fees will be R$20,000 ($4,900) for land-based operators and R$30,000 ($7,300) for online facilities. A combined license for land-based and online gambling will cost R$45,000 ($11,000) per month. It will also be necessary to pay 3% tax on the turnover of bets.
At the moment (summer 2021) there is no gambling regulation in Brazil, the authorities have no methods of control and ways to block any casino and bookmaker sites!
Legalization of casinos and sports betting in Brazil: views and perspectives
On the 1st of January in 2019, Jair Bolsonaro became the president of Brazil. He immediately publicly stated that he was in favor of full legalization of all gambling in the country. However, in his opinion, lawmaking on this issue should be decentralized to reduce the risks of corruption. In other words, all legal norms within the framework of gambling activities should be taken at the discretion of individual regions, as it is in Canada and the United States.
Also, the legalization of gambling and betting in Brazil enjoys wide public support. According to the survey “Global Views on Vices 2019,” 66% of Brazilians support the legalization of casinos in general, and 64% are also in favor of legal online gambling. According to experts from the public organization Arrecada Brasil, which advocates for the legality of gambling in Brazil, the legalization of gambling will lead to an additional revenue of about 37 billion reals ($10 billion) to the state budget each year.
Business representatives are also in favor of legality. In their opinion, the lack of official licenses does not allow advertising campaigns on the Internet to be launched by legal means. As the businessmen specify, they would agree to license and tax deductions in exchange for clearer rules of the game in this area.
But there are arguments against this. For example, the prosecutor’s office fears that with the deficit budget it will be impossible to provide proper control over the gambling industry in Brazil. Representatives of religious organizations, for their part, point to the viciousness and sinfulness of such entertainment, inevitably associated with organized crime and money laundering.
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 the national Brazilian game of Jogo do Bicho, the game of animals? In 1892, the owner of a zoo in Rio de Janeiro began printing images of one of the 25 animals on admission tickets. In the center of the zoo hung a picture covered with a canvas. In the evening, the canvas was taken off and everyone could see the “animal of the day”. Ticket holders with this animal could count on bonuses. Soon it turned out that there were a lot of people who didn’t want to go to the zoo, but who were eager to bet on the animal of the day. Since then, the lottery has changed considerably, but the general principle remains the same.
How much tax do Brazil’s gambling facilities pay?
In July 2021 Brazil introduced a new tax model for gambling businesses. Now gambling will pay to the state not a percentage of turnover (3%), but a percentage of the gross gaming revenue (or GGR).
Amendments made to Law 13756 (Chapter 30) approved by the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies and signed by President Jair Bolsonaro. The document states that the proceeds will go to the educational system, but deductions to schools will be only 0.82% and 95% to operators of the lottery.
It is planned that the new tax model in Brazil should make life easier for the gambling business.
How to attract Brazilian players to casino and betting sites?
The Federative Republic of Brazil is located in South America, being the largest country of the continent by area and population. The main language is Portuguese English is spoken by no more than 10% of the population. The country has a population of 212 million people and 81% of them have smartphones (88% of the population is expected to have one by 2025).
- Other South American markets: Why should we drive traffic to Argentina’s casinos and bookmakers?
The most popular operating system is Android (79.9%), the second place is taken by iOS (16.4%), and the third by Windows (2.2%)). Brazil is third in the world in terms of total number of downloads on the App Store and Google Play. Brazilians are very sociable, the most popular applications are messengers, with WhatsApp leading the way. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are popular social networks. Brazilians also spend a lot of time watching local channels on YouTube.
What games 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, totalizators are very popular in Brazil.
Brazil is the third largest e-Sports 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 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.
Ideas for gambling creations in 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”.
At present, in Brazil, the law on gambling does not regulate the activity of online resources in any way. The beginning of legislative control has been made, but to be honest, the rapid development of legalization of gambling and betting is not to be expected. Now a huge number of offshore gaming sites are working for the public (about 700 by 2021). For example, such well-known European brands as Unibet, Betsson, MarathonBet, 188Bet, Betdaq, Betfair, Betfred, Betvictor, Ladbrokes, Mybet, Pinnacle Sports, TitanBet, Unibet and William Hill are already operating in the Brazilian market. And none of the casino or bookmaker sites in Brazil are subject to blocking, and payments are also freely accepted. Moreover, the audience from Brazil is huge people want to have fun and are willing to pay money for it. Getting that money is our job! It’s time to choose the best offers from casinos and bookmakers that are waiting for traffic from Brazil, and to drive to!
Brazil prepares to legalise gambling! The country is currently working on gambling legislation. A special commission has now been set up to predict changes in the economy. It is expected that members of parliament may pass a law after studying public opinion.
Brazil plans to legalise betting under new rules in the near future:
- betting on traditional sports and eSports will be allowed;
- sports betting will be regulated by a new body – the Ministry of the Economy;
- the number of gambling licences is unlimited;
- the licensing fee is $4.4 million;
- foreign operators would be required to open a representative office in the country.
In May 2022, the bill referred to the Senate for consideration.
The DataSenado research institute recently surveyed the country’s residents about the legalisation of gambling in Brazil. It found that 58% of those surveyed were in favour, as it would increase tax revenues and create new jobs.
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