The Perils of Betting Addiction Among Brazilian Online Gamblers
The Risks of Online Casino Gambling Addiction in Brazil
Casinos in Brazil were declared illegal by President Eurico Gaspar Dutra in 1946. It is believed that his Catholic wife partly influenced this decision, and since that time, both engaging in gaming and running gambling houses have been viewed as criminal misdemeanors in the country. This South American has not reconsidered the decision to try and regulate land-based casinos yet.
However, things are a little different for sports betting. Brazil allows sports betting, with online sports betting companies serving locals required to have physical headquarters in the country and abide by strict tax regulations. Meanwhile, unlike land-based casino gaming, Brazil does not have laws that explicitly restrict online gambling, which means that everyone who has access to online casino sites like LeagueofSlots can enjoy casino games over the Internet.
That said, there have been increased concerns about problem gambling in Brazil. Here’s a look at the nation’s gaming regulatory landscape and what can be done to curb any potential harm.
What Does the Brazilian Law Say About Gambling?
In 1993, bingo and slot machines were legalized in Brazil, giving the nation’s state lotteries the green light to develop new gaming products. They started issuing authorizations for bingo venues and slot machine parlors, and online gaming companies that produced these games came up with restrictions from state laws.
Meanwhile, for horse race betting, the law has not defined a distinction between land-based betting and online betting. It only requires that the general betting plan expressly includes both options.
Per the regulated activities, some of the common gaming offenses and their penalties in the South American nation are as follows:
- Operating games of chance in a public place is illegal under Article 50 of the Criminal Misdemeanor Law, resulting in three months to one year imprisonment and a fine;
- Under the same Criminal Misdemeanor Law, introducing foreign lotteries in Brazil with the objective of sale leads to a jail term of four months to one year and a fine;
- Taking part in illegal casino gaming may result in fines ranging from 2,000 reals (~$400) to 200,000 reals (~$40,000) imposed on both the player and the facilitator.
On the other hand, while land-based casinos have been banned for nearly a century, iGaming isn’t illegal. But then again, there aren’t any laws that regulate online casino gaming either, and as such, online platforms operate in sort of a gray area in the country. The Brazilian online casino market is so lucrative that it is projected to hit a volume of US$0.93 billion by the end of 2023.
How Serious Is the Brazilian Problem?
Studies have shown that even though there are barriers to playing in land-based casinos, the prevalence rate of pathological and problem gambling is at 1.0% and 1.3%, respectively. This rate is generally at par with other countries where there are more liberal laws concerning the casino industry. No doubt, one gambling addict in a hundred players doesn’t sound alarmingly, and ideally, gambling addiction isn’t an issue that should be plaguing society.
That said, based on the numbers about the risk of addiction, most Brazilian gamblers are participating in the activity responsibly. Moreover, like any other type of recreational activity, playing responsibly is vital to keeping things fun and safe. Some of the ways that Brazilian players can avoid gambling harm include:
- Stick to licensed sites regulated by a reputable authority to avoid getting scammed;
- Set budget limits and limits on stakes;
- Cultivate self-control and keep your mind in check to avoid rushing into decisions;
- Start playing games only after understanding the rules of play and practicing a few strategies;
- Know when to take a break, and set time limits even when you’re on a hot streak;
- Accept that losing is part and parcel of the experience as well as winning;
- Avoid chasing your losses in case you are on a losing streak;
- Opt for self-exclusion in case you are unable to control yourself;
- Seek the help of professionals as soon as things start getting out of hand.
What Should Players and Government Do?
The truth is, in most games, save for skill-based titles like poker and blackjack, players hardly ever have control over the outcome as the games are purely based on chance. On top of that, every single gambling title comes with a house edge to ensure that the casino remains profitable in the long term. Consider the house edge a business margin necessary to keep the business afloat; without that, the industry wouldn’t have been viable in the first place.
Additionally, the Brazilian government should also do more regarding regulation to prevent locals from seeking gambling thrills on offshore platforms. That’s because, in the black market, there’s no guarantee for player protection. Better regulation means that Brazilians can enjoy online casino games with the certainty that in case anything goes wrong, offenders will be held accountable.