Brazilian Online Gambling Reforms Still Pending

Published Tuesday, September 03, 2013 -
Brazilian Online Gambling Reforms Still Pending

The World Cup 2014 is coming to Brazil where fans are getting extra excited about the tournament. Brazil has won the golden cup of football five times so there is a fever pitch in the air about this one. Brazil is reported by many to be the odds on favourite to take the championship while on home turf and Brazilian fans think there could be nothing sweeter.

One would think that the government would have reformed the betting laws in Brazil before the event came to town. Back in 2009, the Brazilian senate was to consider a bill that was based on the USA’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in order to modify existing Brazilian gambling laws. The bill copied the US model and would put pressure on the country’s financial institutions to stop processing transactions from online gambling websites. That bill has yet to see the light of day and time is short with the 2014 World Cup around the corner.

Legalized gambling in Brazil could generate up to 300,000 jobs and $10 billion in government revenue per year say some advocates of legalization. At present, the only fully regulated, open forms of gambling are Lotto horse betting and Bingo other forms of sports betting are available through state-backed operator CAIXA.

Yet many foreign online gambling operators offer their services to Brazilian customers regardless. Most are happy to process transaction from Brazilians, and some support locally popular payment methods such as e-wallet Boleto Bancario. Many offer Portuguese language versions of their websites, with content targeted at Brazilian consumers.

It has been estimated that the unregulated portion of the Brazilian gambling market may be worth in excess of $5 billion. Indeed, in 2010 alone, estimates suggested Brazilians spent $4 billion gambling on the internet. Currently legal wagering by Brazilians at online casinos at $4 billion per year and, thanks to the spike in World Cup wagering and increasing to play online poker in Brazil as of late, players like Bwin, 888, Betsson, Poker Stars, and Sporting Bet already have a strong presence in Brazil.

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