The South American jurisdictions have been on the online gambling operator’s radar for some time now. Operators are eager to enter the betting fray in countries such as Brazil which has enormous potential for profit for the industry. The country has been struggling with efforts to legalize gambling and has made some progress in both chambers of the country’s government where they have been discussing legislative proposals that would legalize different forms of gambling, including online gaming and sports betting.
A bill originally introduced by Senator Ciro Nogueira Lima Filho in 2014 included both land-based and online casinos, proposing that they should be legalized. Debate over a modified version of the bill # PLS 186/2014 continued last year and was approved by the Special Committee for National Development. However a final vote on the legislation did not happen in 2016 which fostered hope that the discussions would continue in 2017.
Opposition to the legalizing of gambling in Brazil has been fierce with the moral argument being the loudest voice. Opponents say that gambling is harmful to the general population causing issues that are commonly associated with drugs and alcohol. Proponents of the legalization effort argued that if the gambling market is regulated, it would attract international investment and generate needed tax revenues easing the economic crisis Brazil is experiencing.
Creating a regulatory platform would also feature measures for preventing and combating money laundering and corruption in Brazil. Currently the population of Brazil does not have an outlet for the urge to bet with as many as 200,000 punters travelling to neighbor country Uruguay to gamble at legal casinos. There are state-run and owned lotteries, poker, and horse race wagering which are legal in Brazil but are considered skill based betting. Bingo was also declared legal in the 1990s, but was then prohibited in 2007. The large population of around 208 million people Brazil could evolve into the world’s most lucrative regulated gambling jurisdiction.