The Brazilian National Congress are deeply entrenched in talks over the legal status of gambling in the country. Following these developments with eagle eyes, are just about every big foreign gambling company in the world as they’re poised to move in for the kill. If and when gambling becomes legal here they’ll be ready to cut out the competition and move into the market with little hesitation.
Under proposed new legislation the Brazilian market would be opened up for online gambling operators. They would still need to apply for licences, as in other countries with legalised online gambling, and operate a fair system. Countries that don’t allow online gambling are in a minority as countries around the world now offer gambling on everything from who will win reality TV shows to the British classic, bingo.
Bingo was only banned in 2004 in Brazil and one company are waiting in the wings to resume their business. AGT still own offices in São Paulo, if this bill passes then they could find themselves on a list of gambling sites that offer different bingo games in the country.
The law is far from passed though, as there are heated debates for and against the bill. The main point for it is the amount of tax the government could place on the new industry. In certain countries this tax can bring the government as much as 20% of the profits, not to mention the new jobs created. Although some gaming studios and operators will continue to do their job remotely there is a possibility that some will set up in Brazil. There’s also the possibility that native Portuguese speakers will be employed in a customer service capacity, which would be a much needed boost for the job market.
The issue now facing the decision makers is if the new industry will be worth its revenue or if the associated costs will wipe out the profits. The gambling industry needs strict regulation, which is costly and time intensive. It’s simply not enough to leave these companies unchecked and able to do as they please, as this can lead to extortion and immoral conduct. In a bid to block the negative effects of the bill it has been amended nearly 20 times so far. This has included the prohibition of public sector officials to bet and this also affects their relatives. This may seem like a steep regulation to impose but with allegations of corruption already flying, it seems like the government want to err on the side of caution.
The industry leaders that intend to move into the market have already marked their territory in flamboyant fashions. At an industry conference in London, some game developers and operators flew flags stating that they were ready for Brazil. Italian based slot game creator VNE, had a number of decals and promotional tools to make their presence known, all branded with the fact their machines are primed for Brazil. What the future holds for this industry is unknown but readers can be assured that there will be complaints from either side of the argument, no matter the outcome.