A report compiled by consulting firm KPMG and commissioned by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) estimates that Brazil’s online gambling market could be worth R$6.7 billion ($2.1 billion), if regulated properly.
The report’s findings are being made public at a time when the proposed legalization of certain gambling services, iGaming included, is gaining momentum in the Brazilian government.
The RGA is an international trade association that represents the online gambling industry and promotes the legalization and regulation of iGaming services in jurisdictions where this is yet to happen. Some of the world’s largest online gambling companies are members of the organization. It is also important to note that many of the companies have also expressed interest in entering Brazil’s gambling market, in case the country legalizes the provision of their services.
According to KPMG’s report, Brazil could have a very lucrative online gambling market if it legalizes and regulates these activities in a manner that combines a “sensible and effective” licensing regime, a taxation framework that is based on gross gambling revenue (and not on turnover as it is the case in several recently regulated jurisdictions), and the right measures for the socially responsible provision of online games and sports betting.
In addition to this, the introduction of an online gambling regulatory framework would reduce the size of Brazil’s unregulated market, KPMG pointed out in its report. According to figures from the Brazilian Legal Gaming Institute (Instituto de Jogo Legal – IJL), illegal gambling operations in the country generate around R$20 billion ($6.2 billion) each year.
The legalization of a number of gambling services, online gambling included, has long been discussed in both houses of the Brazilian National Congress, known to be the country’s legislature. There have been several bills on the matter produced in recent years, but none of them have made any significant progress, due to staunch opposition from a number of lawmakers.
It became known earlier this year that the gambling legalization push might be renewed in the country’s Senate. Local media reported that Senate President Eunício Oliveira has promised to include the gambling regulation topic in the plenary agenda of the Congress’ upper house. The senate is currently looking for additional sources of tax revenue and Mr. Oliveira has pointed out that a regulated gambling industry could be one such source.
Last month, a group of Brazilian lawmakers led by Deputy César Halum celebrated the inauguration of the Parliamentary Front for the Legalization of Gaming. In general, the Front was formed to lobby for the legalization of gambling services within the country’s borders. Its establishment and its cause were supported by a number of major gambling operators, including Las Vegas-based giants Caesars Entertainment Corp., Las Vegas Sands, and Portugal’s Estoril Sol. Representatives for the companies attended the Front’s inauguration in mid-October.