r postponing the vote on a new draft of its gambling bill last month, another step has been taken by Brazil towards launching a regulated online gambling market, with the approval of SB 186/2014.
Gambling has been outlawed in Brazil for the last 70 years, but lawmakers in the National Congress are trying to change that through a wide-reaching gaming bill.
The statute would authorise land-based casinos, sports betting, bingo halls, horse racing wagering, and internet gambling, completely overhauling Brazil’s gambling market.
The game of “Jogo do Bicho” or “animal game”, a popular type of lottery that is currently run by criminal enterprises, would also emerge from the underground and gain legal status. The game operates in 25 states and has been outlawed by federal law since 1946, apart from Paraiba, where it is legal and regulated.
Last week, the Senate’s Special Committee on National Development (CDEN) accepted the gambling legislation and moved the bill to the chamber’s floor. The CDEN approved the original version of the bill in December of last year, but was put forward again after senators proposed 16 amendments.
William Hill says that legalising casinos in Brazil “would be one of the most significant events in gaming history”. It is thought that Brazil could pull in around $3bn a year in casino tax revenue if the bill passes.
It is estimated by the President of the Brazilian Institute of Gaming, that in order to gamble up to 200,000 Brazilians travel outside the country each month and that Brazilian nationals comprise 70% of the gamblers in Uruguayan casinos.
Eilers & Krejcik Gaming comments: “This year’s expansion proposal has the best odds of passing in over a decade due to the current state of the Brazilian economy and desperate need for additional tax revenue.”
With a hearing expected to take place this week, the full Senate will need to approve the bill in order for it to progress to the next stage.