Broadening the Focus: What Needs to Change to Bring Regulation to Brazil?Published June 28, 2019 by Lee R
Federal legislation in Brazil has yet to adapt to the times, through gaming is running increasingly rampant among the citizenry.
Gambling is everywhere in LatAm's largest jurisdiction, but it remains by and large unregulated due to the reluctance of lawmakers to further endorse gaming.
Local Officials Ready
As far as general sentiment, facts on the ground indicate that local officials are ready to change with the times when it comes to iGaming in Brazil.
A new poll of 238 federal deputies conducted by Paraná Research Institute (Instituto Paraná Pesquisa) revealed half of respondents were in favor at 52.1 percent, with 40.8 percent opposed,; and another 7.1 percent undecided or not responding.
Further, a majority of deputies (40.1 per cent) believed casinos and bingos should be opened in tourist towns; or in cities with a low Human Development Index HDI (21.6 per cent).
Prevailing Arguments Against
The most significant reasons for opposition include possible money laundering (20.6 %); increased gambling addiction (17.2 %); religion (10.1 %); poor control (9.7 %); and lack of control (9.2 %).
Legislation Under Consideration
Gaming bills introduced to provide gaming solutions for Brazil's current economic crisis include bill PL 442/91 in the House of Deputies and bill PLS 186/2014 in the Senate. PLS 186/2014 last resurfaced in April as a redraft before the full house offering the widest gaming expansion bill ever seen in legislature--authorizing specific categories of gaming “the animal game,” casinos, bingo halls, online gambling and betting.
The People's Voice
A separate study conducted by Parana in August of last year revealed addressing bingos and casino regulation revealed 45.6 percent in favor of restoring bingo halls and 43.4 percent against it. In the casino category, 45.7 percent supported and 45.5 percent are opposed.
Industry stakeholders and operators are undoubtedly chomping at the bit for a regulation model for licenses in a market the size of Brazil.
The Brazil Disparity
With a population of over 200 million, Brazil is the 5th largest market in the world by population, the largest jurisdiction by far in Latin America and the only non-Muslim member of the top global economies “Group of 20” nations without a gaming regulation model.
Facts on the Ground
Without the deterrent of prevailing religious practice, the Brazilian people have remained famously enthusiastic about the many forms of gambling in the country, including the lottery style game Jogo de bicho, which dates back over 120 years.
Further, bingo halls remain readily visible proliferating metropolitan areas for decades; dog and horse-race betting remain rampant; friendly betting on football matches takes place ubiquitously across the land; and the success of Brazilian poker pro André Akkari and recent participation of celebrities such as Ronaldo and Neymar Jr has brought poker to national prominence as well.
However, the national gambling ban still reigns and subjects all of Brazil's individual states to the restriction. Many suggest the antiquated regulation model is not so much a product of anti-gaming sentiment, but an extension of many outdated legal interpretations.
In a market estimated to move $13.2 billion illegally, perhaps an overhaul of greater overarching legal policies is the key to moving the yardstick further in the Brazil Parliament.