Brazil Could Use Some Olympian-sized Betting Activity from Incoming Legislation

Lee R. - May 27, 2016

The time appears at hand for Brazil to ease its economic and poltical woes with a little more regulation.

Despite internal upheaval, the Brazilian government is moving forward with gambling legislation.

New Vote Soon

The new gambling bill could be put to vote as early as next month, and is one of the key issues of the Brazil Gaming Conference 2016 which took place two weeks ago.   

According to Social Democrat and Chamber of Deputies member Herculano Passos, a final draft of the gambling bill should be delivered by next week.


The legislation seeks to authorize introduction of up to 35 brick-and-mortar casinos, 1,200 bingo parlors and 600k video bingo terminals, as well as increasing the number of online sports betting, casino and bingo licenses.  Another bill seeks to repeal the ban on popular numbers game jogo de bicho, also known as the “animal game” lottery.

Internal Upheaval

The progress moves forward in the face of the Brazilian senate´s 55-22 vote to suspend President Dilma Rousseff ahead of her impeachment trial on charges of corruption.

New Hope

Passos maintains that he “full confidence” in incoming acting President and current vice president Michael Temer´s support of online gambling, calling him “one of the factors that will end the prohibition of gambling in the country.”

Gambling Market Value

At this point, approved gambling in Brazil is worth approximately $4b per year, with the illegal market worth an estimated $5.7b, of which $3.24b comes from jogo de bicho. The country also has an estimated 220k in illegal slot machines bringing in over $1b per year. Unlicensed online gambling sites contribute an estimated $875m while illegal bingo operations are bringing in $370m.

Benefits to be Gained

Legalizing said gambling products would bring the annual market value to $16.8b, representing a potential $5b in annual tax and licensing revenue.

Olympic Betting Revenue Potential

The upcoming Olympics appears to be the ideal time to collect tax revenues, with a huge upsurge in betting sure to take place from the event taking place from August 5 to 21. With 60% of the 200 million Brazilians online, there will be no shortage of online bets placed, especially in light of the fact that there exist virtually no government restrictions on Internet access or e-mail or Internet chat rooms.

Legalize It 

A unified betting device or platform, and licensed marketers and operators, would be a great way for the cash-strapped government to harness the full benefits of online gambling to provide the revenue infusion the beleaguered government is at this point so sorely in need of. 

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