The Senate’s Special Committee on National Development (CDEN) has approved a bill for online gambling, bringing the country one step closer towards launching a regulated online gambling market.
SB 186/2014 aims to set up a legal structure that would permit land-based casinos, video lottery and other gambling options, such as bingo halls, sports betting or horse racing wagering.
Gambling is currently illegal in Brazil and it has been outlawed for the last 70 years. However, many Brazilians are involved in underground activities. One of the most popular one is “Jogo do Bicho” or “animal game” lottery. With changes in the gaming law, this lottery type which is currently outlawed in 25 states, would gain legal status.
The President of the Brazilian Institute of Gaming has estimated that around 200,000 Brazilians travel outside the country every month in order to gamble. E.g., 70% of gamblers in Uruguayan casinos are Brazilian.
SB 186/2014 specifies that at least 40% of casinos be built in the Central, Northeast, and North regions. Further, national lottery operator Caixa Economica Federal and its subsidiaries would have exclusive rights to offer online sports betting.
The CDEN approved the original version of the bill almost a year ago, but senators proposed 16 amendments to it. The full Senate will have to approve the bill now in order to take it to the next stage. The hearing is expected to take place later this week.
William Hill comments on the matter saying that legalising casinos in Brazil “would be one of the most significant events in gaming history”.