Brazil recently updated some of their misdemeanor laws and considered that people playing mobile poker outdoors was enough of a threat that they’d ban it.
I have no idea how authorities intend to catch people playing online poker on their mobile phones, given that spying on people’s screens is quite rude. But what’s clear is that if you’re caught playing online poker in public, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor – punishable by up to three months in jail and a fine ranging from $575 and $575,000.
Poker is still Largely Legal in Brazil
While banning poker from outdoor spaces seems pretty nazi-ish, the game is still legal when you’re playing at home or in a land-based poker room. What’s more is that Brazil views poker as a skill game (post 2012), which makes their take on playing publicly all the more bizarre.
Despite the new law, don’t expect poker enthusiasm to be curbed much in this country. After all, they’ve caught fever for the game in recent years, mostly thanks to heavy advertising and marketing campaigns by PokerStars.
Will Brazil regulate Online Poker?
With a population of over 200 million, Brazil would be a prime place to regulate iPoker. Following the 2012 opinion that poker is a sport, the senate came out and expressed their support of online poker. However, little else has happened on the iPoker front since then.
Last year, Senator Ciro Nogueira said that it may be years before the proper legislation is available for online poker. So despite the odd don’t-play-poker-in-public law, there’s still plenty of support for the game. It’s just that this political support doesn’t look to pay off any time soon.