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Brazil votes to legalise gambling and makes history

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Brazil officials place vote to finally bring back legal land-based and online gambling to the country.

Legal gambling is becoming more accessible in various regions across the globe. Brazil recently made history voting in favour of legalising online gambling and land-based gambling.

A new dawn for Brazil gambling

On 23 February 2022, there was a vote in favour of legalising gambling within Brazil. The vote results came in at 246 to 202 in favour of Bill 442/1991. Meaning gambling in various forms is about to return to the country since its ban in 1946.

The Bill also known as the Jogo de Bicho bill has been through several amendments over the years as more channels and gaming types have been added. The bill brings online gaming, casino, horse racing, slot machines, and Jogo de Bicho operations to Brazil.

While it is great news for the land-based and online gambling industry, there are several rules and regulations. Along with the reinstated gambling industry comes a range of restrictions that need to be kept in mind.

New Brazilian gambling industry

According to the bill, no gambling on credit will be allowed and winnings are taxable at 15%. Furthermore, they will create SINAJ, a gambling supervisory authority consisting of a federal registry, supervisory body, and betting agents.

The government is also establishing a service known as the National Register of the Prohibited (RENAPRO) to identify and block problem gamblers.

Casino operators will have to pay a license fee of BRL$600,000 (£89,100/€106,800/$119,700) per license. And online gaming operators must in turn dock up the same amount for any licensed domain. Bingo operators BRL$20,000 for each establishment and Jogo de bingo operators will have to pay BRL$20,000 per quarter.

Licensing goes to the highest bidder

For the land-based gambling industry, there are plenty of restrictions in place regarding the number of casinos that will be available. There may only be three casinos per state with a population greater than 25 million, with only São Paulo currently meeting this requirement.

States with 15-25 million inhabitants may have two casinos which currently includes Minas Gerais and Rio De Janeiro. All other states with a population of up to 15 million may only have 1 casino.

That being said, there is a rule that locations considered tourist destinations may have a casino regardless of the population density or location.

There is also an allowance for casinos to operate on river vessels with one for each river measuring between 1,500km and 2,500km in length. And two for each river with a length ranging between 2,500km and 3,500km, any river greater than 3,500km can have 3. These vessels cannot stay in one location for more than 30 days and must have at least 50 high-end rooms, restaurants, bars, and shopping rooms. Furthermore, they must include venues for meetings and other events.

Online gambling will be available, but all unlicensed foreign operators will be blocked. Furthermore, locally licensed iGaming operators must be residing within Brazil in order to operate here.

The approval of the bill is a big win for all casino games of skill including eSports and Poker. Statistics reveal that eSports is the third most popular form of gambling within the iGambling industry.

With the new approval and licensing grants, there is a lot of potential for the newly regulated online gambling industry of Brazil.

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