As of early 2019, Brazil has multiple bills making their way through their Congress that will legalize gambling — particularly activities such as casino games, sports betting, bingo, and Brazil gambling sites. This will be a massive change for the nation that’s banned most forms of wagering since 1941.
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Brazil is the largest nation in Latin America and the fifth-largest in the entire world, both in terms of square mileage and population. The massive South American country is home to over 207 million people across 26 states and 5,570 municipalities. They also have the planet’s ninth-biggest economy, which explains why this market is so appealing to gambling operators.
While we wait for the government to legalize Brazil gambling websites and create the appropriate regulatory framework to license and monitor the industry effectively, there are still plenty of options for the individual bettor. Thanks to a legal loophole, residents of Brazil may access offshore internet gambling providers licensed in foreign jurisdictions without fear of consequence.
Values Our Recommended Brazilian Gambling Sites All Share
LegitGamblingSites.com was created as something of a passion project. After the explosive growth of the online gaming industry, the scammers followed shortly behind, opening a sea of gambling websites designed to look and play like legitimate providers, only they keep all of your money no matter what! Our mission is to save as many readers from giving their money to these rogue operators as possible.
But that’s just what got us started. The act of simply not ripping people off isn’t nearly enough, so we’ve taken our review process a bit further. Our team of experts from all parts of the gaming industry dedicates countless hours to finding only the best Brazil online gambling sites for our readers. Any website found on our list can be counted on to possess all of the following qualities, amongst many others.
Positive History and Reputation
There’s more to verifying that a Brazilian gambling website is acceptable to be shared with our readers than making sure they’re licensed in a regulated jurisdiction. Furthermore, some operators may still act unethically even if they’re not an outright scam to steal money. That’s why we dedicate serious time to digging through a gambling website’s past, which includes looking into their ownership.
We have to make sure that they haven’t run blacklisted sites in the past or that their ownership group doesn’t have a history of bad business practices. Our team also researches customer reviews to look for patterns in their comments that raise red flags.
That’s a big deal, especially in how it affects sports betting. There are times when you need to get your picks in fast — either because the game is about to start and the odds will be taken down, or because the line just moved and now you have a positive value wager that needs to be placed before the odds change again.
Helpful and Responsive Customer Service
If you’ve ever sat on hold for an hour or subjected yourself to countless loops through a company’s unhelpful phone menu, we probably don’t need to explain this one to you. When you’ve trusted a corporation with your money, and there’s an issue, you want it resolved ASAP.
Our experts make a priority of testing every Brazilian gambling website’s forms of communication on their customer help page to ensure they’re actively monitored, courteous, and responsive. If they pass, we know our readers are in good hands.
Bonuses and Loyalty Rewards Programs
Loyalty rewards programs are a significant factor as well; their cashback offers and other prizes add tremendous value to the customers.
Are Brazil Gambling Sites Legal?
Kind of. Gambling in Brazil is in a transitional period. While most gaming activities and online gambling sites in Brazil are considered unlawful, there are some exceptions such as horse racing, lotteries, and some others we’ll discuss shortly.
The government passed a law prohibiting Brazilian sports betting in 1941 and followed that up with another that banned casinos and other “games of chance” in 1946. They even shuttered the brick-and-mortar locations already operating throughout the country.
More than 75 years later, the Brazilian economy is struggling and in desperate need of additional sources of income. It’s estimated that residents are spending over $200 million per year on offshore gambling websites, which is a significant amount to send over the border every year. Seeing the opportunity to inject some cash into the economy, Brazil’s lawmakers seem adamant to bring legalized gambling to the country as soon as they can.
In December 2018, a bill was passed that will see Brazil regulate both online and land-based variations of sports betting. Now, the country’s Ministry of Finance is working on the regulatory framework such as the licensing regime and the specific rules that will be enforced.
Another piece of legislature — which would legalize casinos, bingo, and online gambling sites in Brazil — is sitting in the Brazilian Congress, where it’s been for over four years now. For some time now gambling operators have looked at the South American nation as a sleeping giant. It’s shown signs of waking up, but not in any particular hurry.
In the meantime, the country has zero laws against utilizing offshore gambling sites in Brazil, making it easy for anyone looking for any form of gaming the government hasn’t legalized yet. Any rules they have regarding foreign operators only pertain to the host or owner of the website.
Games of Chance vs. Skill
The way Brazil’s gambling laws are currently written, there’s a critical distinction between games of chance and those that require skill. They define “games of chance” as any wager in which luck is a significant factor in winning, which they’ve decided covers sports betting as well.
Almost every form of gambling is considered unlawful outside of horse racing, poker, and lotteries. The Brazilian authorities recognize poker as a skill game and thus allow for buy-in tournaments, which may be provided by private enterprises. There are, however, no licensing requirements since their only gambling laws pertain to games of chance.
Legality of Popular Forms of Gaming
Land casinos, the types of games in then, and online casinos in Brazil have been illegal since 1946. This looks to be changing soon, though, with a bill sitting in Brazil’s Congress that would legalize and regulate land-based and online casino gaming.
There’s also a challenge currently waiting to be heard by their Supreme Court, with the Rio Grande do Sul Court of Justice challenging the constitutionality of their current laws.
Sports betting in Brazil was legalized in December 2018 but has not been enacted yet.
They are now in a two-year review process while the Ministry of Finance draws up the rules and regulations and creates a licensing regime. Until then, we shouldn’t expect to see any new Brazil gambling sites based inside the country.
Horse racing betting in Brazil is legal, but it may only be provided by non-profit organizations that own the tracks. These entities must also be authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply, although there are no regulations or licensing requirements.
Betting on the horses can only be done on racetrack grounds.
The Brazilian courts made online horse race wagers in Brazil illegal in 2013.
Bingo in Brazil is currently illegal but is included in the promising legalization bill sitting in Congress. The game had a brief return in 1993 when a new law allowed for the hosting of bingo games as a way for athletic organizations to fundraise.
Five years later, “the Pele Act” revoked the previous law and created The National Institute of Sports Development to oversee bingo operations in Brazil. In 2004, this newest act of legalization was challenged and reversed as well, leaving the game outlawed to this day.
Poker has been deemed a game of skill by the Brazilian courts and is thus not included in the anti-gambling laws created in the 1940s.
However, this only allows for buy-in poker tournaments, as cash games are still considered gambling.There are no licensing requirements.
Lotteries are considered a public service and are legal. Since they’re justified as a method of raising money for the government, Brazil’s lotteries have always been exclusively state-owned.
Caixa, the country’s Federal Savings Bank, has a monopoly on running national lotteries. There are also 16 lotteries owned by their individual states, which were grandfathered in, even after Brazil gave control of the market to the bank.
Since 2017, the Brazilian government has been exploring offering an Exclusive Instant Lottery, or LOTEX, as well. This scratch card business is owned by the State of Rio de Janeiro and has federal approval, but an operator has not been chosen yet. Brazil is opening bids to private entities, both local and foreign, but did not receive any at the most recent deadline.
Fantasy sports are considered skill games, and as a result, they exist outside of the Brazil gambling prohibition.
Like poker, there are no licensing requirements or regulatory authorities monitoring fantasy sports in Brazil.
Brazil’s Gambling Legalization Laws
While Brazil is relatively behind the times when it comes to both their gambling markets and the laws that govern them, they won’t be for much longer. Desperate for quick, sustainable cash, the country’s lawmakers have made several recent efforts to open up these industries.
In this section, we’ll look at a few of the exciting pieces of legislation coming down the pipeline. But be warned, of all the countries we’ve covered, Brazil is by far the least creative when naming laws.
House Bill 442/1991
House Bill 442 is still being debated over in Congress. As currently written, it would legalize casinos, bingo, slot machines, sports betting, and online gambling sites in Brazil. One of the reasons this bill has been sitting in the House for over four years now is that politicians cannot come to an agreement on which activities will be regulated.
Provisional Measure 846/2018
In December 2018, President Temer signed a law into effect that would task the Ministry of Finance with a two-year mission to draft the regulatory framework and licensing regime for legalized land-based and online sports betting in Brazil. According to Article 20 of the Draft Law of Conversion, the Ministry may now permit fixed-odds sports betting operations, though that’s a couple of years away, at best.
PL 7413/17 Tourism Bill
A few Brazilian elected officials have made efforts recently to legalize some forms of gambling in Brazil as part of their tourism bill. There have been discussions regarding integrated casino resorts, bingo in tourist and recreational areas such as soccer stadiums, and more. However, at this time, nothing has been agreed upon or put into action on this front.
State Lotteries Challenging Caixa’s Monopoly
When the Brazilian government passed Decree Law 204 in 1967, it gave Caixa a monopoly over the industry. However, while the decree outlawed the creation of new state lotteries, authorities allowed those that were in operation before 1967 to continue. Now, the states that were left out are challenging the constitutionality of their laws.
It’s very similar to the legal battle that took place in the United States over sports betting. The fact that Nevada and three other states were grandfathered in before a bill called PASPA banned the activity everywhere else was the justification given by the Supreme Court when overturning the federal law.
A History of Gambling in Brazil
Frequently Asked Questions
Is online gambling legal in Brazil?
No, not yet. Only poker, horse racing, and lotteries are legal and regulated. However, sports betting is undergoing the legalization process currently, and there’s a bill in Congress that’s expected to legalize all of the primary forms of both land-based and online gambling in Brazil.
What are the risks involved with accessing a foreign gambling site from within Brazil’s borders?
There are no risks. Brazil’s gambling laws are all decades old, with nothing on the books that prohibits citizens from accessing foreign websites run out of jurisdictions with legal gaming. Tons of offshore operators cater to the Brazilian market, which is estimated to spend $200 million in their gambling sites annually. However, you likely won’t find any Brazilian gambling sites hosted in the country until it becomes legalized.
Does Brazil tax gambling earnings?
Yes, all winnings from the lottery or horse track betting are taxed at 30%.
Poker earnings are taxed at 25% if the winner is employed by the poker operator or is not a Brazilian resident. If they are a resident and don’t have a working relationship with the provider, they’re taxed 15%.
Which forms of gaming does the Brazilian government define as “games of skill?”
At the moment, horse race betting, poker, and fantasy sports are the only common forms of gambling allowed due to being considered skill games. Lotteries are legal, too, but are considered a public service.
Will Brazilian gambling sites be legalized and regulated in the future?
Yes, a fully open and regulated Brazilian online gambling market is on the horizon. There are currently multiple legal challenges in various courts and stages of Congress, any of which could be the deciding factor in finally opening the floodgates to Brazil’s gaming industry.