Even though gambling on slot machines has been increasingly common in the Brazil, there is no serious intent to legalize this gambling reality as of yet.
The latest crackdown took place in Teresina, the capital of the state of Piaui in the Brazilian Northeast. According to Brazilian gambling news reports, police confiscated about 10 slot machines over the course of two weeks.
“Most of the time the arrests were only possible after receiving anonymous complaints. People who have addicted family members file complaints to try to resolve the problem,” said detective Antonio Carlos.
Although nearly all games of chance have been banned by Brazilian gambling laws since the 1940’s, illegal slot machines are operated by the tens of thousands in the country. The practice is so widespread that gamblers who are caught claim not to know that it is a crime to play on these machines.
Last year the same police department seized 30 machines used in games. These numbers obviously don’t make any visible impact on the Brazilian gambling scene.
Needless to say, it is also against the law to play bingo in Brazil. Just five days ago police shut down a bingo hall in the same city, which had been open for two years. Operating as a combination of land based and online gaming, bingoheads would use computers to place their bets.
The move clearly upset senior patrons. “I bring my money and spend it and not get upset by it. I’m sad because of the closure of the only place where I had fun,” commented one pensioner who declined to be named.
Both proponents and opponents agree that classifying such gambling as a misdemeanor does not deter people from playing. While the former group would prefer to see a more permissive approach, police would like to see tougher punishment.
“Due to the penalty being very low it can not inhibit this kind of misdemeanor,” complained police commissioner James Guerra.