[bsa_pro_ad_space id=1 link=same] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=2]

Skip to Content


Brazil – William Hill ceases to operate in Brazil

By - 5 January 2015

William Hill will no longer offer its online betting services to Brazilians.

In a letter which was sent out to its customer in Brazil in December the company announced that it would cease its operations locally and offered its ‘sincerest apologies’ to its customers. The mail indicated that the company would cease its operations from December 23 citing ‘regulatory reasons that are beyond our control,’ to explain the move.

It was hoped that the government might change its online gaming laws before hosting the FIFA World Cup last year with a number of moves set to change Brazil’s gambling laws. The latest was put forward in May when a new bill put forward by Brazilian Senator Ciro Nogueira which would permit online and land based gaming and would reflect similar legislation in place in countries in Western Europe. The bill would be aimed at generating tax revenue from the industry and regulate the local market.
With a population of almost 180m Brazil is the most populous country in Latin America and offers a potentially huge and as yet untapped market for the gaming industry. Gambling has been banned since 1946 when President Eurico Gaspar Dutra banned casinos and all gambling in Brazil (apart from state lotteries and horse racing).

Although online gambling is currently banned in Brazil it is estimated that Brazilians gamble US$600m a year via offshore sports betting sites. Recent government studies have discovered that turnover made via offshore sports betting sites amounts to around US$300m a year on Brazilian sports alone.
With a major operator like William Hill now withdrawing from the market it would seem that Brazil’s online gaming market will, in all likelihood, remain closed for the foreseeable future although hopes remain high that the government will address the issue eventually. In September Senator Ciro Nogueira’s bill was submitted to the Committee on Regional Tourism Development in the Senate. However, it will have to then pass through a number of committees before being approved and for it to actually be approved would need a fundamental change in Brazil’s gaming laws – something which could take years.

Share via
Copy link