Rio de Janeiro State Shows the Greatest Interest in Real-Money Gambling in Brazil

By | July 21, 2023


The state of Rio de Janeiro has a disproportionally high number of real-money gamblers when you compare the percentage of players from the state making up the market share of total players in Brazil, against the population of the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Research by ENV Media, a performance-based media agency working in the iGaming industry, found that 14% of all real money gamblers in Brazil currently reside in the State of Rio de Janeiro. Yet the Brazilian 2022 census revealed that just roughly 7.9% of Brazil’s total population lives in the state of Rio de Janeiro. In other words, residents of the state of Rio de Janeiro make up almost twice the number of real-money gamblers in Brazil than the numbers relating to the state’s population suggest they should.

Break Down of Brazil’sd Most Populous States

With a population of 16,054, 524, Rio de Janeiro is the third biggest state in Brazil by population, behind Minas Gerais (20,538,718) and Sao Paulo (44,420, 459). According to the latest Brazilian Census carried out in 2022 by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica, Brazil’s current population is 203,062, 512. That makes it the seventh most populated country in the world, one above Bangladesh and one below Nigeria.


Top 10 States Population % of Population Player Share
São Paulo 44,420,459 21.80% 24%
Minas Gerais 20,538,718 10.10% 5%
Rio de Janeiro 16,054,524 7.90% 14%
Bahia 14,136,417 6.90% 6%
Paraná 11,443,208 5.60% 5%
Rio Grande do Sul 10,880,506 5.30% 7%
Pernambuco 9,058,155 4.40% 5%
Ceara 8,791,688 4.30% 6%
Pará 8,116,132 4% 2%
Santa Catarina 7,609,601 3.70% 3%
Goiás 7,055,228 3.40% 5%

What about the Other States? 

When focusing just on the top 10 most populous states in Brazil, which between them account for 77.4% of the total Brazilian population, there are some other eye-catching conclusions. Like the state of Rio de Janeiro, the state of Sao Paulo also accounts for a higher share of real-money gambling taking place in licensed online casinos based in Brazil when compared to the percentage of the overall population. But in this case, the difference is far smaller.

The state of Sao Paulo hosts 21.8% of Brazilian inhabitants and accounts for 24% of real-money players in Brazil, by far the state that houses the greatest number of gamblers in Brazil. The states of Rio Grande do Sul, Pernambuco, Ceara and Goiás all also accounted for a bigger share of the Brazilian gambling market than the share of the Brazilian population that they make up.

Goiás for example, hosts just 3.4% of Brazilians, yet players from that state make up 5% of Brazilian players who play for real cash. On the other hand, people from the states of Santa Catarina, Pará, Paraná and Bahia were in the opposite camp. In all four cases, the proportion of the Brazilian population they made up was less than the proportion they made up of the Brazilian gambling market.

Minas Gerais Residents Keep their Money in their Pockets

But the biggest discrepancy of all is related to the state of Minas Gerais. With a state population of 20,538, 718 as per 2022 numbers, it makes up 10.1% of the total Brazilian population. Yet the ENV research shows that residents of the state make up just 5% of real-money Brazilian gamblers.

That suggests that the state of Minas Gerais, whose cities include Belo Horizonte, Uberlandia, Contage and Juiz de Forma, is yet to embrace real-money gambling at the same rate as those from other Brazilian states.

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