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Brazil – Brazilians gambled more than 11 billion dollars online last year

By - 22 January 2024

According to Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo during the period from January to November 2023, Brazilians spent approximately 54 billion reais (USD11.1 billion) on online gaming and betting. The figure was based on statistics from Brazil’s Central Bank regarding remittances sent to foreign companies.

For comparison, the amount spent on gambling exceeded Brazilian beef exports, sales of which amounted to USD9.5 billion in 2023, according to the Secretariat of Foreign Trade.

The figure arises from estimates derived from operations recorded by the Central Bank. Through these estimates, it is suggested that approximately 43.3 billion reals (USD8.9 billion) corresponded to “resources transferred to form the amount to be distributed among the winners: the amount bet by the players.”  Another 10.7 billion reals (USD2.2bn) was allocated to service fees and retained by the operators.

This figure is likely to increase significantly once legalised online gambling is underway. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva sanctioned Bill PL 3626/2023, on December 30 which regulates the operation of sports betting in Brazil and allows for online casinos as well. The approved bill imposes 12% revenue tax for online betting companies. Player prizes will be taxed at 15%. However Lula vetoed the tax exemption for betting prizes of up to R$ 2,112 per month. 

Last week it was revealed that the government is in the process of creating a National Gaming and Betting Secretariat (Secretaría de Apostas Esportivas). According to local press the secretariat will be operational by the end of January and will be responsible for tax inspection and the prevention of illicit activities, such as money laundering. The team will be made up of public servants moved to the secretariat from other government departments as well as professionals recruited from the private sector.

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