Brazil is arguably one of the most confusing countries you can choose to engage in online gambling from. Over the last decade, the Brazilian Government has come so close to legitimising online betting, only to have the necessary bills bogged down with red tape. Where do things stand, then? What do Brazilians need to know before betting online? Let’s dive into the Brazilian internet betting industry to find out…
Is Online Gambling Legal in Brazil?
In practicality, no, but in theory, yes. Confused? So are most Brazilians. Brazil used to be a gold mine for casino gaming, although you must go back over 80 years to see that. In 1946, the country’s fifth president, Eurico Gaspar Dutra, put an end to gambling with his Law Decree 9215. It essentially outlawed all casinos and made gambling a no-go. Any licenses operators thought they had, were ripped up unceremoniously. To date, only two casinos remain in operation in the country.
All of Brazil’s nine federally operated lotteries operated under the Caixa Econômica Federal and just over half of the states and districts in the country run their own lottery programs. These operate outside of the online gambling sphere, and so are perfectly legal.
Of course, when Law Decree 9215 come into being, nobody could ever have anticipated the internet, let alone the innovation of online gambling. As such, there aren’t any laws in place to either prohibit or legalise online gambling. Instead, punters should turn their attention to the existing laws. They state that it is illegal to operate a casino in the country, but there is no mention of it being illegal to play. Therefore, in theory, Brazilians are at liberty to play games at online casinos, provided they aren’t located in the country.
In a bid to turn this mess into some form of enforceable law, Bill 186-2014 was drafted. It was done to try and get the government a share of the $900 million in revenue made via online gambling. With over 20 million Brazilians gamblers, that is quite a chunk of change. Unfortunately, former President Dilma Rousseff was impeached before that bill went through.
Since then, the bill’s language has been approved, but the bill itself has been bogged down under constitutional reviews, delays, and other red-tape tactics, such as notable intervention from the Catholic Church in Brazil. For now, the bill is not dead. It is likely to pass, but there is no timeframe yet established.
Brazilian Online Casinos
As you may have gathered from what you’ve read thus far, there is no such thing as a Brazilian online casino. Brazil does not yet have a gambling authority to issue licenses to such sites. As we are still technically under older laws (and Bill 186-2014 has not yet passed), it is illegal for any Brazilian to own or operate a casino in the country. Don’t be disheartened, though, as this doesn’t mean that you don’t get to play online.
Offshore Casino Sites for Brazilian Players
It is still very much possible to play at online casinos if you live in Brazil. They only way to do it (legally) is to visit an offshore casino. In short, these are casinos which are based abroad, and, therefore, do not fall foul of Brazil’s laws. Unsurprisingly, many top operators and casino game developers are eager to jump onto the market. Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country and an emerging economic power. It just makes good business sense.
As mentioned, there are no laws preventing Brazilians from trying their hand at gambling at offshore casinos. You’re also very unlikely to suffer divine retribution, despite what the Catholic Church in Brazil may believe. You would be taking advantage of what is known as a grey area, which swings slightly towards being more legal, than illegal, as the Brazilian government has long admitted that it does intend to legalise online gambling overall.
Is Anything Likely to Change in the Future?
One would hope so. Even though the bill which would legalise online gambling in Brazil has been held up, it is still expected to pass. There are still many Brazilian politicians who want to see that happen. While no timeframe has been given, Brazil could, in theory, legalise online gambling tomorrow, if everybody got their heads into gear.
Top Brazilian Casino Sites
Players in Brazil are, for the time being, going to have to rely on offshore casinos and sportsbooks to play at. Fortunately, as mentioned, there is a wealth of those to choose from. You will find many such sites right here on this page. It is worth noting that if you intend on betting at a Brazilian casino, we recommend that you choose one which offers gameplay in Portuguese, accepts the Brazilian real as a currency option (most do), and is licensed and secured out of one of the more reputable jurisdictions.