The immense South American nation Brazil is the ideal mix of the Iguaçu Falls and the Amazon Basin. The country includes various Carnival celebrations which are described by flashy outfits, samba music and moves, and parade glides. What’s more, there are shorelines extending from Ipanema to Copacabana. The nation’s perks are various yet its tourist-inviting environment is even more engaging. Under its tourism industry, we have the huge and alluring gambling industry which is sadly unregulated.
The first landmark in Brazilian history can be drawn to the early years of the 16th century when Europeans arrived in the country. Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral was the first European to colonize Brazil in 1500 under the Kingdom of Portugal. The Portuguese Empire ruled Brazil from the 16th to the 19th century. Eventually, Brazil started growing and division became an inevitable process. In the process, Brazil was divided between Portugal and Spain.
In 1822, the country became independent of Portugal and the Empire of Brazil was established. The Empire of Brazil became the First Brazilian Republic in 1889 following a military coup. From then till 1985, the country was governed by various dictators and military rulers. Concurrently, the final amalgamation of all Brazilian territories took place in the early 20th century.
Throughout all these years, the country known today as the Federative Republic of Brazil perceived gambling facilities and activities in diverse ways. For one, the government exploited gambling activities within the country during the Brazilian Empire. The previous centuries have seen gambling activities being forbidden by the government and again being allowed. The debate has been quite hectic and has witnessed drastic and rational opinions.
In 1930, Brazil permitted all forms of gambling within the country. But in 1946, the Brazilian gambling industry saw a major decline (or closure) when then-President Eurico Gaspar Dutra forcefully ordered all casinos and gambling facilities in areas such as Poços de Caldas, Petrópolis, and Lambari to close down immediately. Even the biggest hotel in Brazil at the time – the Quitandinha Palace (Palácio Quitandinha) in Petrópolis – was closed down.
According to Brazil’s constitution of 1946, only sports betting, horse races wagering, and games of chance specifically based on luck are legal. In contrast, offering any gambling activity in a public setting (such as a company’s headquarters, house, or hotel) is prohibited.
As a result, gambling is not as impressive in Brazil as in other South American countries. However, Brazil has some of the oldest horse racing tracks and casino hotels in South America and its oldest National Lottery was established in 1784.
From 1784 to the 1960s, lotteries were operated by individuals selected through public bidding with a five-year tenure. Then-President Jânio da Silva Quadros restricted lottery operations to the State and the Union exclusively. This law is still intact today and the Caixa Econômica Federal administers the federal lottery operators. Each state, however, controls its own lottery operator(s).
Today, gambling is popular in Brazil despite the strict and uncertain gambling law.
Casinos and a handful of other gambling facilities are not legal in the South American country. Well, the legalization and restrictions of casinos are contradictory in this part of the world. However, few casinos still operate within the country. There is a total number of six casinos in the country.
Pertaining the country’s gambling environment, it is just as serene and calming as other South American countries. And although they are not plenty, the few do well by providing a variety of games and an excellent gambling atmosphere. Brazil is a profitable country concerning most of its industries. So, tourists and visitors will surely be welcomed warmly in this fascinating South American country.
Even though the total number of gambling facilities in Brazil is just six, they are located in five distinct Brazilian cities. Gávea Hippodrome is located in Rio de Janeiro while Hipodromo de Cidade Jardim at Jockey Club de São Paulo is located in Cidade Jardim, São Paulo. Hipodromo do Cristal and Winfil Entretenimento are both situated in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul while Hipódromo do Tarumã at Jockey Club of Paraná is situated in Curitiba, Paraná. Palácio Quitandinha, lastly, is located in Quitandinha, Petrópolis.
Furthermore, the largest gambling area is Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. The city offers two different gambling facilities and more than 500 gaming machines and table games. Particularly, Winfil Entretenimento is the largest casino in the whole country, with more than 400 table games and gaming machines.
Regarding the fact that casino gambling is illegal, unlicensed and unregulated in Brazil, the number of casinos available is small and gambling varieties are reasonably limited. The casinos are particularly more racinos than actual casinos, yet some are attached to hotels. Although they offer basic casino games like roulette, blackjack and slot machines, most are more focused on their racetracks.
The most popular game in Brazil is Jogo de bicho (the Animal Game) – a style of lottery game which is more than 120 years old. In addition to Jogo de bicho, bingo and football (football or soccer) are popular amongst Brazilians and Brazil residents. Poker, on the other hand, is also popular but its popularity is rather newer than Jogo de bicho, football, and bingo.
The situation of online gambling in Brazil is quite similar to other South American countries. Brazilians and Brazil residents are not persecuted for gambling on any form of online gambling activity but operating an online gambling provider within the country is illegal. So, Brazilian natives, as well as tourists and residents, can gamble freely online as long as they are accessing offshore websites or web apps.
Lottery, on the other hand, is much more participated by Brazilians than other gambling activities. The country’s national lotteries are nine: Federal Lottery, Instant Lottery, Mega-Sena, Double-Sena, Quina, Lotomania, Lotogol, Loteca, and Lotofácil – and they are all operated by the Caixa Econômica Federal. State governments also offer lottery operations depending on the state’s administration. For example, Banco Nossa Caixa administers lottery operations within São Paulo.
Below is a list of all casinos currently operating in the regions of Brazil.
Hipodromo de Cidade Jardim at Jockey Club de São Paulo
Hipodromo do Cristal
Hipódromo do Tarumã at Jockey Club of Paraná
– The minimum gambling age in Brazil is 18 years like most of the other countries.
– The Federal Government of Brazil collects 54 percent of the total lottery amount within the length and breadth of the country while the remaining 46 percent is distributed in prizes. The percentage collected by the government is supposedly used to investment in the country’s sports, health, culture, education, and security sectors.
– The National Congress and the Senate have been trying to legalize many forms of gambling in the country. Particularly, the Senate can be credited more because they have made a more significant progress.
– In 2014, Senator Ciro Nogueira Lima Filho proposed that casinos, bingo halls, slot parlours, and sports betting shops should be within the length and breadth of the country. However, the proposal – although almost accepted – was declined.
– The country’s legislators have had varying opinions pertaining the legalisation of gambling facilities within the country. Some claim gambling would only worsen the country’s economy while others supported the fact that gambling would make the country economically stronger.
– Although illegal, gambling is bigger in Brazil than most countries. Illegal gambling facilities generate a whopping amount of $6.4 billion annually, according to the Instituto de Jogo Legal.
– According to the Instituto de Jogo Legal (IJL), the Jogo do Bicho market is estimated to worth about $3.8 billion and the local market should be $17.6 billion or more. The IJL also stated that the country loses $2 billion annually.
– More than 200,000 Brazilians and Brazil residents travel to Uruguay and other countries to gamble in their casinos.
– With a population of 207.7 million, Brazil could easily become the world’s largest gambling destination. And coupled with its tourist-friendly environment, the gambling industry if regulated could even be larger than expected.
– Jockey Club de São Paulo was established back in 1875, making it one of the oldest horseracing tracks in South America and the whole world.
– The country’s 26 states and the federal district are allowed by the Federal Government to make or break their individual gambling laws.
– In 1944, the Palácio Quitandinha in Petrópolis launched and became a nationwide destination. Walt Disney, Bing Crosby, and Carmen Miranda were few of the public figures the hotel welcomed. Soon, the hotel closed in 1962 – but began reconstruction later in 2007. Today, Palácio Quitandinha is operational.
– In 1930, gambling became legal in Brazil – but became illegal in 1941 and 1946.
– In 2010, the National Congress failed at passing a bill that would restrict Brazilians and Brazil residents from performing money-related exchanges with web-based betting administrators.
– In 2008, a bill to completely restrict online gambling failed. In 2009, the Federal Government of Brazil also failed at ordering Internet service providers (ISPs) to forcefully block any website providing any game of chance.
– Brazil is utilizing the Law Decree 9215, which makes gambling very minimal in the country.
– The Criminal Contravention Act of 1941 made all forms of gambling – especially sports betting – within the country illegal and a criminal act.
– In 1946, casinos were specifically outlawed by a presidential decree.
– In 1993, the Zirco Law was introduced and passed. The Zirco Law, officially the Law Decree 981, permitted electronic gaming machines within the country. The law increased the amount of slot machines and bingo halls in the country. In 1998, the Pelé Law was passed as an upgrade to the Zirco Law. Officially the Law Decree 2.574, the number of bingo halls increased as each bingo hall was allowed to house a maximum of 400 slot machines. In 2000, eventually, the Law Decree 9.981 was passed and completely banned all bingo halls, slot parlours and slot machines. This wasn’t as effective as the rule the Supreme Federal Tribunal created in 2004. The rule scrapped both Zirco and Pelé laws, and effectively closed down most of the country’s bingo halls and slot parlours. In 2007, further, the Súmula Vinculante 2 closed all bingo halls and slot parlours completely.
– The Law 7291 of 1984 made the horse racing industry legal. In 1988, the Law Decree 96.993 reinforced the legalization and made horse racing outrageously popular throughout the length and breadth of the country.
– According to the CCA of 1941, online gambling is illegal. However, Brazilians are allowed to gamble online on foreign online casinos, online bookmakers, and online lotteries.
– Cruise ships travelling through Brazil or those that have landed in the country are allowed to offer casino games in Brazil. However, only their on-board passengers can participate in any game of chance.
– According to Gambling.com, Brazil’s online gambling industry is worth more than $265 million.
– In 2015, Sky Racing World (a distributor of horse-racing products) announced a partnership with Codere (Spanish multinational gaming group). The partnership was to make Australian races wagering possible within Brazil. However, the development have gone mute ever since.
– In 2016, Ortiz Gaming – a multinational gaming developer – announced their support for gambling legalization in Brazil. Just five months later, the Brazilian Gaming Congress (BgC) held a meeting and discussed the legalization of Internet gaming.