The online gaming industry in Brazil is worth more than 265 billion, and it is constantly growing. Since more and more of its citizens are getting access to 3G technology, this number is expected to steadily increase. It is also estimated that the citizens of Brazil spent more than 4 billion gambling online in other countries during 2010.
Although a majority of gambling activities are illegal in Brazil, this doesn’t mean Brazilians aren’t gambling. It is okay for them to gamble at casino websites if the websites originate in other countries. They mostly frequent foreign websites that have Portuguese interfaces. Although it is not enforced, the Brazilian government does not condone its citizens frequenting foreign casino websites.
Lotto, horse betting and bingo are the only legalized forms of gambling allowed in Brazil. There are about 100k bingo halls in Brazil. The citizens of Brazil also like to gamble on horses. It is said that the Jockey Club de Sao Paulo has about 1,400 thoroughbred horses that race on Sundays, Saturdays and Mondays.
There are state and federally run lotteries as well. Brazilians participate in lotteries such as Lotogol, Mega-Sena, Quina, Lotomania and Loteca. The proceeds from these lotteries are said to provide funding for the country’s education, health, security and culture overall.
Government Bans and Restrictions
However, as already noted, the Brazilian government does not approve all types of gambling. Through the years, it has tried numerous times to either restrict or ban gambling. In 1941, it passed the Criminal Contravention Act. This act banned all sports betting. In 1946, the government closed down all brick and mortar casinos.
In recent years, the Brazilian government has tried to stop its citizens from gambling online by blocking the ISP addresses of foreign casinos. It also tried to make it illegal for its citizens to use their credit cards at casinos in other countries. However, each of these attempts to stop Brazilians from gambling in other countries has failed.
Unregulated and Regulated Gambling
As it stands, online gaming and sports betting is still unregulated in Brazil. The unregulated gambling market is estimated to be more than 5 billion dollars. CAIXA is the state gambling operator, and certain types of betting are permissible via this organization. The only problem is that CAIXA is the only regulated gambling operator in Brazil. Thus, it is considered to be a monopoly, and many Brazilian citizens do not like this.
When it comes to gambling in Brazil, it comes down to morality or economics. Those who have been opposing it for years, see it as being a morality problem for the country because it attracts criminal organizations. But on the other hand, there are others who see it as a way to make Brazil a better country economically. There may be a raging debate on the subject, but one thing is for sure. Brazilians will continue to gamble, especially since technology is constantly evolving to make it easier.