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Brazil legalizes sports betting, a step ahead for legal online poker


The Brazilian president Michel Temer signed the Provisional Measure MP 846/2018, approved by the House in November and passed by the Senate a few days ago. This law creates an environment for international companies to offer sports betting in the country (both online and land-based) and in the future, the regulation may allow other forms of gambling such as poker


Brazilian gambling market potential

Brazil is a highly attractive market for gambling, as it is the largest South American country and almost $1 billion in bets currently, but with a potential of $4 billion in taxes as over 70 million customers is the potential (the internet penetration rate is almost 60% but, in the future, it may reach 80%-90% of the population). Today, the authorities estimate that almost $15 billion are placed on illegal bets.

One of the leaders of the MP 846/2018 project, Congressman Evandro Roman, who is working for legal gambling in Brazil for over 30 years, commented that:

"Sports betting legalization is perhaps the biggest step of gaming in Brazil". 

MP 846/2018 was approved in record time and it states that a percentage of the shares will be invested in areas like sports, culture, and security (2,5% for bets placed on physical locations, and 1% for internet bets). The new lottery modality will be called fixed odd betting, according to Alexandre Manoel, Secretary of Fiscal and Lottery Finance (SEFEL).


MP 846/2018 in detail

The government will keep at least 6% of the bets placed on brick-and-mortar casinos, and those must pay at least 80% of the pool to the players; the remaining percentage (14%) will be the operator profit.

For online operators, the percentages will be 8% for the house, 89% for the players and 3% for the government

The complete distribution of incomes (combining sports lotteries and federal lottery funds) of MP 846/2018 is:

  • National Public Security Fund (FNSP): 6,49% in 2018 and 4,22% from 2019 
  • National Fund of Culture (FNC): 1% 
  • Ministry of Sports: 10% in 2018 and 3,1% from 2019
  • Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB): 1,63%
  • Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB): 0,69%

The Senator Flexa Ribeiro added that a fixed percentage of the FNSP resources should be allocated on improving the working conditions of public safety operators. The initial calculations of the Brazilian government are to receive about $250MUSD ($R967M) for security, $160MUSD ($R619M) for sports, and $110MUSD ($R425M) for culture, more than $500MUSD ($R2B) in shares for the country.

After approving the law by the President, the Ministry of Finance (Caixa Econômica Federal) has two years to publish the regulations needed for the gaming operation in the country, and even since today additional articles are proposed to improve the law and the benefits for Brazilians.


Brazil has been always a market with a great potential. Recently we posted an FAQ about how to play online poker from Brazil, and we stated that 2019 will be crucial for the gambling industry. Now, with sports betting legalized and the community in favor of the projects (mainly because of the big numbers shared by the Congress that could reach health and culture services), it is only a matter of time that online poker became legal too.

Now, when Jair Bolsonaro, the new Brazilian president, begins his government in 2019, he will have the big responsibility to lead the country to be an example of how to successfully implement gambling regulations.

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