Brazil’s Final Chance To Form Gambling Laws

Brazil’s prospective sports betting operators have one last opportunity to form the country’s gambling laws before they are permanently established.

This week, a further government consultancy on government plans for regulating land-based as well as internet sport betting was announced by the Brazilian Minister of Economy. The parties interested only have to submit their responses to the fresh draft ministry decree, which is available until September 27th.

Previous consultation of the ministry, initiated late July, attracted 1,849 submissions, about one-third of which came from industry types. The draft decree is the consequence of the ministry’s interpretation of these submissions, but there were obviously still some places of uncertainty before the ministry feels comfortable enough to set in stone.

Apparently, plans for a monopoly betting supplier have been scrapped in favour of a “competitive environment” so far, so good. The decree also states that both land-based and internet operators will pay 1 percent tax on their betting turnover, which was earlier estimated to be around 6 percent of gross gaming income.

The draft decree contains no additional fee and tax information, but the government has previously confirmed that licensees will pay an upfront fee of BRL3m (£588k) plus monthly charges depending on whether they choose to work on land (BRL20k/£3.9k), online (BRL30k) or both (BRL45k).

License applicants will also need to demonstrate a BRL6 m financial reserve (£1.1 m) to ensure bettors are paid if the ball doesn’t bounce as bookmakers might expect. Applicants will also have to certify that they have not done business in any industry where the local government would have preferred otherwise.

All betting advertising must be accompanied by accountable gambling messaging, including homepages of internet operators. Advertising can not promise to make gamblers rich, happy or irresistible to  the opposite-sex Operators are also unable to mock those who find gambling repulsive or make fun of Brazil’s cultural views or traditions. Operators who disregard the laws may face economic fines of up to 100% of their income, while recurrence will result in doubling the fines.

The legislation signed into law last December gave the government two years to draw up its betting laws, but the present plan is to have the final guidelines in place this December before a market release by June 2020.

Operators swooned over the prospect of legally offering betting products to Brazil’s 212m citizens, even if the government has not yet stated a desire to authorise online casino or poker activity. Land-based casino operators are also waiting for large-scale integrated resort permits from the government.

Veteran online wagers BetCris this week announced a three-year brand ambassador agreement with football great Ronaldinho signalling their interest in Brazil’s legions of bettors. The Brazilian two-time FIFA World Player of the Year recipient has over 100m social media supporters, all of whom will begin learning more about BetCris when the agreement officially starts on October 1.