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Free bets incentives prohibited for Brazil gamblers

Gamblers in Brazil won’t find any free bets being offered any time soon as promotional betting incentives have been outlawed.

The Secretariat of Betting and Prizes (SPA) has confirmed that it plans to ban any kind of betting incentives for promotional purposes.

This includes free bets and bonuses which will leave operators having to devise new marketing plans to entice and maintain its audience.

While there was much discussion around whether this would be allowed, the promotional betting incentives were highlighted in Law No. 14.790 (Betting Law) which permits online sports betting and casinos.

A clause focused specifically on bonuses and free bets was included in the information about customer sign-up incentives. The Payment Ordinance paper, published by SPA in April, references this too.

The clause states: “It is forbidden for the operating agent to grant, in any form, advancement, anticipation, bonus, or previous advantage, even if merely for promotion, dissemination, or advertising, for placing bets.”

Brazil’s online gambling market history

In 1940, there was a blanket ban on gambling in Brazil despite casinos in the country being a big business in the years before.

The ban was thought to be due to religion as President Eurico Gaspar Dutra was a devout Catholic and didn’t view games of chance favorably.

Over the years, some movement was made on the ban with restrictions lifted in a few areas. This included the legalization of non-commercial bingo in 1971, the legalization of horse racing and the betting associated with it in 1984, and the creation of a state-owned lottery system in 1996.

This didn’t stop people from betting, especially as the gambling restrictions only ever applied to operators with headquarters in Brazil. This means international operators could still target Brazilian customers from abroad.

In December 2023, the Brazilian Senate finally passed gambling regulations for sports betting and online casinos.

Featured Image: Photo by Raphael Nogueira on Unsplash

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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