Brazil Considers Online Sports Betting Ban

27 November 2007

A lawmaker in Brazil has proposed legislation to outlaw Internet sports books.

Representative Luiz Carlos Hauly on Nov. 13 introduced bill number 2429/2007, which would ban sports books in any electronic form, particularly via the Internet, in the country.

If it passes, punishment for violation of the law would apply to operators, bettors, banks and anyone who directly or indirectly participates in the betting process.

Hauly's introduction of the bill was reportedly prompted by the discovery of illegal online sports books operating in Brazil. In a prepared statement on his Web site, Hauly pointed to London-based Sportingbet, which advertises on Sportv, Brazil's national sports network and on ESPN and promotes its product in local stadiums. He said the government is looking into ways to investigate the activities of such companies.

Hauly hinted to local newspaper O Impacto that Brazil needs to follow the United States' lead on Internet gambling.

"In order to combat electronic gambling, the United States government made the (Unlawful) Internet Gambling Enforcement Act which prohibits Internet betting." Hauly said. "We also need to do something similar."

The only legal forms of gambling in Brazil are lottery, bingo and race betting; gambling is regulated solely by the Caixa Federal Lottery Institution. Ten states in the country have passed laws to allow some form of online lottery and bingo operations, but casino gaming in Brazil is prohibited.

IGN will continue to follow this story.