Brazil legalizes land-based and online gambling

Despite the fact that gambling is a globally popular pastime, it is not lawful in every nation.

Multiple regions outside of Europe and North America consider this form of entertainment prohibited on the grounds that it conflicts with traditional values.


Such was the situation in Brazil until late February, when deputies voted 246-to-202 in favor of passing Bill 442/1991, which legalizes multiple forms of gambling.


An Overview Of Brazil’s Gambling Laws

Bill 442/1991 was initially introduced more than three decades ago as a Jogo do Bicho law. In Brazil, this form of illegal lottery began to gain traction in the late 19th century. Since its introduction in 1991, the bill has been subject to numerous amendments that have broadened its scope.


Midway through 2021, its reappearance in the House of Representatives made headlines. It sought to legalize multiple forms of gambling and establish a registry for those with a gambling addiction. It was accompanied by Senate Bill 186/2014, which sought to require licensed providers to comply with Central Bank regulations regarding user identification and record-keeping practices pertaining to the communication of financial transactions.


Notably, in 2018, Brazil enacted Federal Law No. 13,756/2018, the country’s first concrete step toward widespread legalization of betting and gambling, as its purpose was to allow fixed-odds sports wagering online and on land. It was specified that sports betting regulation would be implemented in Brazil within four years, or by 2022.


A division of the Brazilian Ministry of Economy known as SECAP, the country’s gambling regulator, declared near the end of 2020 that it hoped to present a legal framework for fixed-odds sports betting by the summer of 2021. That was a pledge that was not kept.


Bill 442/1991 has just made casinos, horse racing, online gaming, bingo, and Jogo do Bicho legal in South America’s largest country. It appears that the concluding push for regulated fixed-odds sports betting in Brazil is about to occur. In Brazil’s twenty-six states, gambling sites can now be established via a procurement process.


The Development of Gambling in Brazil

In the past, playing games of chance in Brazil was unlawful and considered a misdemeanor. Since 1946, this has been the case due to a presidential decree signed by Eurico Gaspar Dutra. Due to her strong religious beliefs and connections to Brazil’s Catholic Church, Carmela Teles, the wife of Dutra, is frequently cited as the decree’s primary proponent. However, the country has permitted lotteries since 1967, and the Caixa Econômica Federal, a state-owned bank, has a monopoly on them.


In Brazil, bingo has had a legal roller coaster journey. The Zico Act of 1993 authorized its use as a source of funding for athletics organizations. Five years later, the Pele Act established a specific chapter for bingo regulation, but this lottery-style option was outlawed in 2004 by provisional measure 168, signed by President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.


Since 1991, as previously mentioned, specific parties have attempted to make casino wagering a reality. This delay is primarily attributable to concerns about the mental health risk associated with this activity and opposition from religious groups.


Which Additional South American nations regulate gambling?

The positions of South American nations on gambling differ greatly. Argentina is often cited as one of the historically gambling-friendly Latin American nations. There are no federal laws governing casino wagering. Each of its provinces individually regulates it. Colombia, Paraguay, Bolivia, Panama, and Nicaragua all permit various forms of online and offline wagering, whereas Chile has only recently announced intentions to amend its laws to permit online gambling.


Costa Rica is a haven for foreigners who desire to operate online gaming sites, but locals are prohibited from playing games with random outcomes. Peru permits casino gambling, but not online, whereas Guyana and Ecuador prohibit all forms of gambling.


To sum up

Brazil’s legalization of online and land-based gambling is a landmark decision that will undoubtedly send shockwaves through South America’s gambling industry and prompt other nations to reconsider their stances on the legality of this activity.

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