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Brazil – Advertising restrictions proposed again in senate committee

By - 20 February 2024

A bill ready for inclusion on the Sports Committee (CEsp) agenda could prohibit the participation of celebrities in betting advertising (PL 3,405/2023).

The CEsp met in October to vote on a number of projects including a proposed restriction of advertising. During the discussion Senator Eduardo Girão presented several amendments to the text, some of which would have imposed betting advertising restrictions including PL 3,405/2023.

The bill sought to prohibit, in advertising betting on sporting events, the participation of people considered celebrities or with power to influence bettors, including athletes, presenters and commentators. For Girão, prohibition would have helped protect ordinary citizens from possible emotional or financial harm that may have resulted from betting.

However, the sports betting and online gambling bill was ultimately approved without the restrictions put forward by the senator and was sanctioned by President Lula in December.

Despite not being approved the bill has been revived by the bill’s rapporteur, Senator Sérgio Petecão who has proposed an approval of the bill in the form of a substitute (alternative text).

According to the Senate news agency (Agência Senado) Senator Sérgio Petecão strongly recommended approval of the proposal in October arguing that the UK had implemented a similar policy. From October 2022 gambling companies in the UK have been banned from using sports stars and social media influencers to target under-18s.

Petecão stated that the Constitution establishes powers to restrict the advertising of products and services that are harmful to health and argued that the use of the image of sports celebrities contributed to the “normalization” of the practice of sports betting, which leaves fans “exposed to fallacious speeches that refer to risk-free fun and the possibility of getting rich quickly.”

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