How do online casino regulations look like in Brazil?

 (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Casino regulations are still a major controversy in Brazil, like in many other South American countries and worldwide. The government is still sticking to laws implemented back in the 1940s in a country where almost the entire population is conversant with recent technological advancements and growth. The discussion is always centered on religious, political, and moral ideologies that were there 79 years ago.  

However, the ideologies and illegality of gambling activities have not limited the spread of internet usage. A digital revolution is happening worldwide; the economic platforms are evolving, changing their functionalities, and adopting digital media from tourism to news anchorage and distribution. The entertainment industry is one that has become most diverse, with people consuming a variety of fun products.

The spread has seen illegal gambling prospering further as search businesses' legal status remains a dicey topic. With over 200 million-plus people as inhabitants of Brazil, the entertainment feature brought about by illegal gambling is said to be generating approximately $5,000 million in a single year on a single unlawful game, the 'Jogo do Bicho', one of the many so called CacaNiqueisOnline The numbers are expected to grow with international online gambling companies setting up camp in the country and the illegal lotteries and bingo halls.

The Brasileño de Juego Legal has been trying to legalize online gambling in Brazil for the past six years through major talks with Congress. Their efforts at creating awareness highlighting the advantages of a legalized industry and trying to eliminate the prejudices associated with gambling led to the Marco Civil da Internet and the introduction of the legislation bill for legalizing the industry by Senator Ciro Nogueira in 2014.

The Marco Civil da Internet became a law in the same year. However, the law does not highlight gambling laws. It mostly centers on the internet and information or data use depicting privacy rights for consumers, ethics or neutrality, and data or information retention. The law offers the governing authority to implement censorship on websites that breach local laws, heavily impacting online gambling as an industry. If the government ever issued such censorship or implemented what the law advised, there would be no more gambling online or offline.

With these considerations was the emergence of the Ciro Legislation for Legalization Bill. The government was more interested in generating revenue via taxes, and the bill was asking for a 10% tax payment from potential online gambling facilities. The legislation didn't stop at taxes. It also enumerated several concerns, including ensuring fairness and technical needs for gaming by providers, better online gambling operations, and land-based gaming rooms. The bill suggested each entity, whether land-based or online, has a starting amount in the capital of approximately $2.3 million.

The government is still resisting the legalization strategy, even with significant benefits highlighted by various organizations regarding gambling. The Brasileño de Juego indicates money laundering a substantial cause for the refusal. However, they also suggest that firm practices are seen in other countries operating successful gambling entities. The Brazilian industry can avoid most of the negatives. Some of the benefits that the companies running online gambling companies indicate a significant approach to legalizing should be:

1. Having a single jurisdiction governing online gambling in the country can either be the national government and not the municipal authorities or community heads. 

2. A single office should be established to cater to all gambling activities and oversee their operation, including payment of taxes and more. It will regulate and make all services offered to pass the same quality test or level procedures making the equal across platforms. 

3. A single license for online gaming and land-based gaming halls may offer the best business environment for both the government and gambling entities. Other countries license a single game or product, which makes the industry impenetrable, and the government ends up losing revenue. 

4. A single taxation plan to cover all gambling products will eliminate challenges that gambling entities face in other countries while maintaining a steady income for the government. 

Some of the cited benefits for regulating the industry include an increase in revenue generated in a single year, approximated at $15,000 million. The forecasted tax proceeds to the country will be $4,200 million. In addition to the tax proceeds, the government will also generate more revenue through the licensing program, with the numbers approximated to be $1,700 million at a go. These amounts do not include possible tax revenue collected from said entities, potential investments by other interested parties, and more. Also, the government will be generating an employment pool for its citizens.

The upcoming debate is on what organizations to license, with integrated casino resorts taking the most considerable portion. Whether or not to legalize the entire industry opening the country to casino resorts and video games, e-sports, bingo gaming halls, online gaming, and much more. Finally, where are these entities likely to establish their operations? Most suggestions fall in tourist cities.

The online gambling bill of 2016 has some significant suggestion for making Brazil a destination for gamblers worldwide by introducing online gambling and building brick and mortar casinos. As of now, it is unclear which plan the government plans to implement. As these laws remain in the making, the government is losing revenue, and illegal gambling continues to grow. We hope that the government will find a way to legalize the industry once and for all!