Online Bingo in Brazil?

Many online bingo industry experts say the UK and European markets are saturated with players and the industry will have to look for new markets to continue its expansion. During the past five years the internet bingo industry has expanded into Scandinavia and Spain and will most likely enter the Italian gaming market by the end of 2010. The bingo industry may want to consider expanding into South American markets. One South American country already has an extensive bingo fan base-Brazil. Although gambling was outlawed in Brazil in 1946 there are now several massive bingo parlors throughout Brazil and the bingo industry employs more than thirty thousand workers.

In 2004 a corruption scandal dealt the Brazilian bingo industry a severe blow and all bingo halls were closed by the government pending an investigation. Outraged bingo workers took to the streets in massive demonstrations throughout the country. Since then most bingo halls have been able to reopen and the game is now enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of Brazilian bingo players.  In 2007 another corruption scandal involving bingo halls put the future of the Brazilian bingo industry in jeopardy. Conservative lawmakers have tried to ban bingo parlors outright but current proposals would put bingo parlors under government control. It has been estimated that a regulated bingo industry could provide the cash strapped Brazilian government with about $3 billion dollars a year in revenue.

The future of the land based bingo industry in Brazil remains tenuous at best. Brazilian representative Regis de Oliveira authored a bill that would legalize bingo and is under discussion. Bingo halls would be connected to a central monitoring system controlled by the country’s tax authorities. Bingo Halls would pay a 17% tax and a fee of $10,940 to be connected to the central system. Oliveira said the new bingo sector could generate 250,000 new jobs for the economically struggling nation.

Despite the proposed legislation the future remains uncertain presenting a great opportunity for the online bingo industry. Expanding into Brazil could easily add millions of new Brazilian players of internet bingo games. The online bingo industry has proved that it can provide games in a variety of languages. There are bingo games in Swedish and Spanish and there should be no problem providing games in Portuguese which is the official language in Brazil. Bingo is extremely popular in Brazil and the online bingo industry could fill a need for the millions of bingo starved Brazilians.