Much like the building of new stadiums, Brazilian gambling laws reforms are facing a fight to be ready in time for next year’s showpiece World Cup. With less than a year to go, some stadiums are still a long way from the finishing line, and with a bill that copied the US model failing to find its way out of the corridors of the Brazilian legislature, odds are on for a mad rush come next spring in the South American giant.
Currently, online casinos in Brazil are big business. The problem for the government, however, is that these casinos are either illegal and unlicensed, or they take their profits without paying a single real in tax. With estimations on the worth of the illegal market topping $5 billion, that is huge untapped potential for the government to make back some of the billions spent on World Cup initiatives.
Some advocates of the legislation, which was anticipated to be a copy of the American Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, are claiming that legal online gambling could create 300,000 jobs and bring the government $10 billion per year. Yet with the speed of the Brazilian legislative process, the likelihood of seeing some new gambling news coming out of the country before 2014 is very low.
With hundreds of thousands of video gambling machines around the country, gambling on the whole in Brazil is big business. Despite a rocky relationship with the government – bingo was temporarily banned in 2004, thanks to a government scandal – gambling is practiced by a large number of adults in the country, and with the popularity of sports, football in particular, it is no surprise that sports betting takes the lead. With the World Cup fast approaching, Brazil needs to get its legislation sorted if it wants to take advantage of the massive spectacle and anticipated surge in online betting.