With a population of 209.5 million, Brazil is one of the most promising gambling markets in the world. Since almost nothing in the country is regulated when it comes to gaming, it's exciting to see the country making some headway in recent years and with that, legislation finally shaping up to regulate multiple verticals.

Online casinos are in the periphery of regulation right now, with sports betting proving the focal point for the country. However, many established brands, including LeoVegas and 888 already operate in the country, albeit in a sort of a grey area, whereby they are not prohibited from doing so nor are Brazilians under penalty of litigation if they choose to.

Yet Brazil can do a lot to put its online gambling legislation in order. All eyes will be on sports betting in 2021 which is expected to take off soon enough, albeit amid some difficulty and hesitance from the government.

How are casinos regulated in Brazil?

To the best of our knowledge, online casinos in Brazil aren't presently regulated. That is not to say that legitimate brands do not exist. In fact, quite the opposite is true. There are at least a dozen worthwhile brands that would jump at the opportunity to hold 100 per cent legitimate licence, including the likes of Royal Panda, Betway, and NetBet to name just a few.

So, are Brazil's gambling laws still playing catch-up? In many ways they are. The most prominent effort to legalise the industry began in 2018 amid strong opposition but similarly endorsement from many established parties. 

A big breakthrough came on December 12, 2018 when the country legalised both brick-and-mortar and online sports betting operations. The government has not yet issued licences to enable private companies to run activities of any kind which consigns most overseas brands to a sort of grey area.

Can you play in online casinos in Brazil?

While the kerfuffle with legislation continues, it's important to note that players will have no trouble accessing cassinos online Brasil, at least given the current regulatory climate.

It's completely legal to actually sign up for an online casino, as long as you trust it and are willing to play there. Some brands are slightly more prominent than others, and usually make for better overall experience.

Players who are keen on playing at the best Brazilian online casinos will have the opportunity to do so, being able to choose from desktop and mobile solutions quickly and reliably without any issues or detriment to the gaming experience whatsoever.

A quick word on sports betting

The sports betting industry in Brazil is clearly the next big thing. Online casinos definitely have a thing or two to be happy about in the meantime, but it will be sports betting that will steal their thunder in 2021. 

While a lot of the legislation has dragged its feet, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed Decree No. 10,467 in August, 2020 and put the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) and the Ministry of Economy as the sole responsible parties for the legalization of sports betting in the country. 

The legislation includes a piece of text known as the Investment Partnership Program (PPI) that will allow private operators to enter the market and extend their offer to local residents. The crafting of actual licensing and regulation will be tasked to the Ministry’s Secretary of Public Policy, Planning, Energy and Lottery (SECAP) which said in 2020 that there are about 30 betting licences available.

Some operators have already been preparing. Betsson has bought a share in Suaposta and has a dedicated domain as Betsson.com.br. 

Final word

Overall, Brazil is still consigned to the list of unregulated markets. There is a lot to be desired, with some headway clearly achieved between 2018 and now and the most blatant abuse of the unregulated industry fixed by a number of decrees that target better consumer protection.

Players today can enjoy a safer online casino experience in Brazil thanks to the government's determination to listen and support consumers. Brazilian operators accumulate between $6.4 billion and $12 billion in revenue from the unregulated gambling market by one estimate, but without more detailed surveys, the actual figure is hard to pin down. One thing remains certain, though – Brazil can do more not to miss out on this tax revenue.

Disclaimer: Play responsibly. Players must be over 18. For help visit https://www.gamcare.org.uk/

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