Is Online Betting Legal in Brazil?
As of 12 December 2018, yes. This is when Brazil’s former president, Michel Temer, signed Law 13,756/2018 into legislation following approval of Provisional Measure 846/2018 just weeks earlier on 20 November 2018. This law gave the green light for fixed-odds sports betting to be rolled out, with Brazil’s Legal Gaming Institute valuing the country’s legal gambling market at approximately R$55 billion.
Of course, tax was the primary reason behind the government’s push to legalise the sports betting market. An estimated R$2-8 billion is spent by Brazilians via offshore gambling websites annually. By regulating the market and issuing licenses to reputable sports betting sites, Brazil has an opportunity to recover from its economic crisis and generate billions in tax revenue.
The initial plan was to limit the number of betting licenses issued for both land-based and online operators to just 30. However, no licenses have been issued to date. The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the government’s focus to health matters, and the legal framework for a regulated market still needs to be finalised following sports betting being added to Brazil’s ambitious national privatization plan.
What we do know is that Brazilian sports betting sites are expected to be taxed 1% on their turnover. It is also believed that bettors will be taxed 13.8% for any wins of R$1,900 or more, which is in line with the country’s lottery taxes. The legal age for sports betting online is expected to be 18 years old.
How to Deposit at Brazilian Sports Betting Sites
Stringent implementation of a prohibition on credit and debit cards means you won’t be able to use your card to deposit at sports betting sites as a Brazilian.
Brazilian bettors were dealt another blow in January 2018 when Paysafe Group announced that Skrill and NETELLER would no longer support gambling transactions. After an almost two-year hiatus, the online payments company opened its digital gates for Brazilian online gamblers again in December 2019.
But not everyone rushed back. Many gamblers continued to use the alternative banking methods they turned to when the popular e-wallets were no longer an option, including:
Virtually all sports betting sites that accept Brazilians support AstroPay payments. The single-use prepaid card is one of the fastest growing payment solutions in Latin America. Prepaid cards range in value from R$40 to R$4,000, with withdrawals made possible via Transferência AstroPay Bank. AstroPay is ideal if you’re seeking a layer of anonymity and wish to avoid sharing your banking details with betting sites.
The Central Bank of Brazil may not approve of Bitcoin, but there is no getting away from its popularity amongst Brazilian bettors. Advantages of Bitcoin betting include less transactions fees when compared to traditional banking methods, anonymity, and the speed in which transactions are processed. The main disadvantage of betting with BTC instead of legal tender is the volatility of the price of Bitcoin.
Launched in 1993, Boleto Bancário is a popular cash-based payment method through which Brazilian customers can make secure payments to online betting sites. It facilitates the movement of funds from bank accounts to other businesses and does not require a credit/debit card. Beloto is regulated by the Central Bank of Brazil, making it one of the safest deposit methods you can select at sports betting sites.
paysafecard is a relative newcomer to the Brazilian market, having only opened its virtual doors to residents of Brazil in 2017. The prepaid payment method requires users to purchase a 16-digit PIN code from a local sales outlet or via the company’s official website. This code can then be entered at sports betting sites in Brazil to fund your account without having to share your banking information.
Bet on the Most Popular Sports in Brazil
Football may be the national sport of Brazil, but it’s far from the only sport that Brazilians love to play and bet on. Aside from the beautiful game, Brazilians particularly enjoy betting on MMA fights, action-packed Formula 1 races, volleyball matches played on sun-soaked beaches, and fast-paced basketball games.
It goes without saying that football is the most popular sport in the country known as “o País do Futebol” – “the country of football” for those of you who aren’t fluent in Portuguese. The two-time World Cup hosts are five-time world champions and have produced some of the best players to have ever graced the planet.
The domestic Brazilian Championship A Series attracts fervent support and fosters some of the up and coming starlets who learn their craft before typically moving to Europe to secure lucrative contracts at top clubs. Neymar is a prime example, having moved from Santos to Barcelona before joining PSG.
Made famous by Royce Gracie, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is now the discipline that underpins the fighting styles adopted in premier mixed martial arts organizations like the UFC and Bellator. Anderson “The Spider” Silva and Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort are two of the greatest Brazilian MMA fighters of all time.
Regular MMA events are held around the globe, presenting you with lots of opportunities to bet on your favourite MMA fighters. Several UFC Fight Nights have taken place in Brazil in recent years, with local fighters like José Aldo and Renan Barão showcasing their skills inside the famous Octagon on home soil.
Brazil has produced three Formula 1 World Champions: Emerson Fittipaldi (1972 and 1974), Nelson Piquet (1981, 1983 and 1987) and Ayrton Senna (1988, 1990 and 1991). Only Germany and the United Kingdom boast more championship wins, but Felipe Massa was the last Brazilian to compete in F1.
Ayrton Senna’s home city of São Paulo’s has hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix since 1973. Races take place at Autódromo José Carlos Pace, a circuit named after the late Carlos Pace. It is considered one of the most challenging circuits in the world because it runs anti-clockwise and there are many inclines.
With endless miles of sandy beaches, it comes as no surprise that Brazil excels at volleyball. Both the men’s and women’s teams are administered by the Confederação Brasileira de Voleibol (CBV). The men’s team has won gold medals at the Olympic Games, while the women’s team has won two.
Amateurs and professionals hone their skills on sandy beaches in seaside cities like Rio de Janeiro and Vitória. In terms of the domestic Brazilian Volleyball Super League, Minas is the most successful team in the history of the men’s league. Rio de Janeiro has tasted the most success in the women’s league.
Basketball is another sport which receives plenty of interest at Brazilian sports betting sites. The men’s national team have performed well in international competition, having won the World Championships twice, achieved three Olympic bronze medals, in addition to regularly winning the Pan-American games.
Hall of Famer Oscar Daniel Bezerra Schmidt is considered one of the greatest Brazilian basketball players of all time. Although he never played in the NBA, stars like Bruno Caboclo (Memphis Grizzlies), Cristiano Felício (Chicago Bulls) and Raulzinho Neto (Philadelphia 76ers) have all represented Brazil in the league in recent years.
The History of Sports Betting in Brazil
Being a country synonymous with sporting success, it is no surprise that Brazil has maintained a strong gambling culture throughout the centuries. Betting and competition go hand in hand and up until the end of the Second World War, gambling was legal in the largest country in South America.
When the Social Democratic Party was elected, a change of approach was implemented, with the vast majority of forms of gambling being banned. Shortly after, betting activities were prohibited even further, with the all traditional casinos made illegal, leaving just the lottery and horse racing as a medium through which individuals could speculate. Even prior to World War II in 1941, all unregulated sports betting activities had been made illegal under the Criminal Contravention Act.
Bingo’s Legal Loophole
The 1990s saw the rise to prominence of video gaming machines. A legal loophole that enables bingo machine companies to function if they sponsor amateur sporting teams or events, facilitated the expansion of video style betting, with an estimated 1,000+ bingo venues dotted across Brazil. A brief bribery scandal in 2004 resulted in a ban on bingo, but the demand and established business soon ensured that the prohibition was a temporary measure.
When the internet really started taking off just after the turn of the millennium, the Brazilian authorities, like many, were ill-equipped to deal with censoring and regulating their citizens’ online betting activities. Obviously, the advances in technology which resulted in this new medium for wagering, could not have been accounted for, and it soon became a cause for discussion within the Brazilian government.
Keen to gain control, the government first produced a bill which aimed to outlaw online gambling in 2008. This failed and was followed by another unsuccessful attempt in 2009 to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to ban gambling websites.
Debit and Credit Cards Blocked
Unperturbed, Brazilian authorities again tried to control affairs in 2010 by attempting to pass a bill which blocked Brazilians from conducting financial transactions with online gambling operators. This again failed, but in 2011, the government took the first real steps towards banning online sports betting by passing a legislative proposal which suggested prohibiting the use of debit and credit cards to place bets – be it online or offline.
On the surface this appeared a counterproductive move with the World Cup 2014, a massive income generator, so close. However, there was an exemption offered, which allowed betting on federal sports lotteries and other games offered by Caixa Economic, the Brazilian bank that has also branched out to betting.
The Long Road to a Regulated Market
After more than 70 years of what many Brazilian gamblers consider draconian laws, sports betting in Brazil will soon be legal and regulated. Many questions remain up in the air, including whether the ban on debit and credit cards will remain in place and whether the initial limit of 30 betting licenses will be thrown out the window to rake in even more tax money.
Whatever is decided by the powers that be, you can rest assured that we’ll update our guide to sports betting in Brazil as soon as more details emerge. Until then, enjoy betting on your favourite sports at one of our recommended betting sites.
Brazil Betting FAQs
Brazil’s former president Michel Temer gave the green light for legal sports betting in December 2018. Government officials were given two years to bring these plans to fruition, but disagreements and the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in legal sports betting in Brazil being pushed back until 2021.
Absolutely! A huge number of sports betting apps are available for Brazilian bettors. These fast and secure mobile applications give you an opportunity to bet using your iOS or Android device. Even if you don’t want to download an app, you can still bet on your mobile by logging in via your web browser.
Unfortunately, Brazilian real (BRL) is rarely accepted at international betting sites. As a result, you will need to select a different currency and convert your funds. One of the main benefits of a regulated gambling market is that you will be able to deposit and bet using the official currency of Brazil.
Yes! The best sports betting sites roll out the red carpet for all new customers from Brazil. You may be treated to a free bet as a reward for registering, or a risk-free bet for funding your account and placing your first bet. In most cases, you will also receive a deposit bonus when you make your first deposit.