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Betting in Brazil

Published on: 30/11/2015

Brazil is the fifth largest country on the planet with ten bordering countries, 26 states and one federal region. The cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are located in the southeast of the country, a region that has the highest population as well as the most wealth.

Nearly all methods of gambling were allowed in Brazil until 1946, at which point President Eurico Gaspar was elected and outlawed bookies and casinos. The only exception to the government ban was betting on horse racing and lottery games.

The gambling prohibitions are still in place to this day, however bingo has since been allowed and has become popular with punters. The Brazilian government took steps to eradicate illegally run establishments throughout the 1960s; but the effort was condemned as encouraging the rise in criminal gambling activity. Due to a loophole in the law, bingo facilities were able to offer non-professional sports gambling. In the 1990s, gaming machines were introduced and can now be found in venues which look like traditional casinos but don’t have actual gaming tables. At the turn of the century, it was said that Brazil had in excess of 1,000 bingo establishments and over 100,000 video gaming machines.

A bribery case involving a government official in 2004 resulted in the Brazilian government making bingo illegal for a total of 9 months. After the scandal, bingo was made legal again to all punters over 18 years of age.

The Jockey Clube de Sao Paulo started in 1875 and was initially called Club Racing Paulistano. The club currently has approximately 1,400 registered thoroughbreds and holds meetings across the weekends as well as on Mondays. Horse Race wagering is the oldest form of betting in Brazil.

The Jockey Club operates the Hipodromo de Cidade Jardim. Also known as the Garden City, the complex has four race courses of varying distances with both grass and sand surfaces. The largest event is known as Grande Premio Sao Paulo and is held annually. It consists of four Group One turf races for young colt horses known as the “Quadruple crown”.

Rio de Janeiro is home to the Gavea Hippodrome racing venue, The Hipodromo do Taruma in the state of Parana and the Hipodromo do Cristal at Port Alegre also have large race courses.

Brazilians bet on many familiar single bet markets including Win and Place, as well as multiple bets such as Exacta, Trifecta, Quadrifecta and Accumulators. The “Betting 5” involves predicting the winners in the last five races of the day.

Brazil has many legitimate types of lottery on offer, from numerical games of luck to games based on football scores. Some of the profits generated by the lotteries are donated to worthwhile charities. Unfortunately corrupt lotteries that target the poor, such as the Jogo do Bicho (the Animal Game), are still in operation. Betting via the Internet is not authorised in Brazil, as a result, there not any bookies or online casinos. However, Brazilian punters can legally place bets on foreign gambling web sites. Currently there are around 462 bookies based in other countries who welcome Brazilian punters and some of them provide information in Portuguese.