Betting bound to be an issue in Brazil
The World Cup has touched down in Brazil for the summer, but fans of betting on the occasion will be disheartened to learn that most forms of gambling, including sports betting, are prohibited in the South American nation. That means that anyone who has travelled to watch the action live in Brazil this year will have to put their bets on hold until they return home, with the possibility of visiting casinos also ruled out.
Gambling was allowed in Brazil for many years, right up until 1946, when President Eurico Gaspar Dutra came into power. Since then all forms of gambling aside from lottery betting and horse racing punts have been banned, with many land casinos, online casinos and sports books having to shut down as a result.
What remains is a state-backed monopoly, CAIXA, which is the sole regulated operator Brazilians can turn to and use in order in to bet on sports such as football. Given that the World Cup is a time where people are likely to have the occasional punt, no matter what their usual stance on gambling is, the government may wish to protect this already thriving monopoly in order to make the most of it.
Video Bingo managed to secure a legal loophole in the 1990s, which allowed them to foster amateur sports. These games can today be found in buildings that resemble casinos without table games. Brazil was at one point the home to more than 100,000 video gambling machines across just over 1,000 bingo houses when the new millennium was ushered in.
Scandal hit in 2004 however, causing the machines to temporarily be banned throughout the country, after officials from the government were caught on tape demanding bribes from people within the bingo industry. This ban lasted from February to October and afterwards the game was declared legal once more for adults aged 18 or over.
Another loophole that has since come to fruition is the ability for Brazilians to use sports books that are registered abroad. Since you are technically staking your money online to a different country, the sports-book cannot be considered illegal, thus enabling the betting. It is highly likely that many Brazilians will resort to this method in order to stake their bets on the World Cup this year. To date, over 400 offshore betting companies cater to Brazilians, while just 30 offer a version of the site in Portuguese, which is the native language of Brazil.
While neighbouring country Argentina currently have over 80 casinos across the country, Brazil are still not permitted to build and use casinos. There has been political unrest regarding this issue and several others though, so it could be that by the 2018 World Cup rolls around, Brazil have introduced several additional forms of gambling to their locker.