Brazil is closer to legalized online gambling

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Brazil is poised to become the next legal jurisdiction for the online gambling industry. A bill that calls for sweeping changes to Brazil’s gambling industry, including the introduction of casinos, video lottery terminals and other offerings such as online sports betting, bingo and casino games was recently introduced in Brazil’s House of Representatives.

The proposed comprehensive gambling legislation was amended and approved by the Special Committee on National Development but senators proposed 16 amendments, including prohibiting public officials and relatives from any involvement in the gambling industry plus ensuring the suitability of possible gambling operators.

The amended legislation clearly defines tax rates for the various gambling options. Online gambling will be subject to a rate of 20% gross revenue. This is double the sum applied to terrestrial gambling operators. The bill maintains the higher rate for online betting operations by  indicating that terrestrial operations incur greater start-up and maintenance costs.

The government has not released details on the number of online licenses the government of Brazil intends to issue.  There is not any information about whether there will be any requirement for international operators, although it is known that firms will have to establish a local office. As in many other global jurisdictions, Brazil’s central bank will be made to block payments related to unauthorized online gambling operators.

Brazil stands to gain revenue from new legislation to help with the mounting debt the government has. Estimates have been suggested that the annual tax revenue $4.15b following the bill’s passage could be gained.  It has been estimated by the Brazilian Institute of Gaming that as many as 200 thousand Brazilians travel to bordering nations to bet.

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