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Brazil – Lottery betting on the rise in Brazil

By - 16 April 2018

Betting on lotteries is on the rise according to the largest state owned bank and lottery operator – the Caixa Econômica Federal. Lotteries generated R$3.3 billion (US$966,801,000) in the first quarter of 2018, according to a statement released by the bank with the volume of bets exceeding expectations.

Caixa reported that the figure meant an increase of 19.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2017, when the body generated R$2.7bn. According to Caixa, in March lotteries generated R $ 1.1bn, an increase of almost 16 per cent compared to March last year. The Mega-Sena, one the largest lotteries in the world, led the pack with sales standing at R$456.7m, followed by Lotofácil, R$336.8m, and Quina, R$192.8m.

“The first quarter, presents the best performance for lotteries for the last five years,” said Vice President of Government Funds and Lotteries for Caixa, Valter Nunes. “The bank continues to administer the lotteries with excellence and remains committed to the public policies of the Brazilian state. R$1,020 million in prizes were offered to more than 69 million bettors, and we contributed R$1,6bn for various social areas, such as education, sports, public safety, culture and health,” he said.

Caixa Econômica Federal, known locally as Caixa, is the biggest public bank in Latin America and manages nine lotteries including the Mega-Sena one the largest lotteries in the world. Set up as a monopoly in 1961 the CAIXA lottery sales network is extremely well developed and extensive and encompasses the entire territory.

However, there could be major changes when it comes to how lotteries are run in the future. Plans now under consideration in both the House of Deputies and the Senate would further break the monopoly of CAIXA lottery betting after the sell off of its instant lottery arm Lotex. At present, apart from the lotteries run by the federal government, only a handful of other states may offer their own lotteries. In all, there are 16 state run lotteries in states such as Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais.

House Bill No. 442/1991 provides that state authorities will be allowed to issue licences for state lotteries with a 20-year term. The act in the Senate PLS 186/2014 would also strengthen state lotteries. This was after an amendment was put forward by Senator Lindbergh Farias, which would safeguard state lotteries, as their income will diminish once Lotex is privatised. Approved at the end of October by the rapporteur of the bill, Senator Benedito de Lira (PP-AL), the amendment guarantees the states the same rights when it comes to running lotteries as the federal government. The Senator is also trying to mobilise the Senate to transform the content of the amendment into a legislative decree, in order to ensure the survival of state lotteries long term.

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