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Brazil – Brazil’s sports betting regulation should be in place in two years

By - 4 March 2019

The head of the Secretariat for Fiscal Monitoring, Energy and Lottery (SAFEL) Alexandre Manoel Angelo da Silva has revealed that new sports betting rules should be in place within the next two years.

According to a statement published by the Ministry of the Economy, the government plans to decide upon the most viable mode for sports betting in the first half of 2019 as part of the development of Law 13,756/2018.

According to the official, the government is looking at both online and land based sports betting. “This decision depends on the choice between a fixed number or a variable number of companies that will operate betting. If we decide on a fixed amount (at least two), we will choose the model of ‘concession.’ If it is variable, the model will be ‘permission’ (authorization),” he said in an official statement.

The law stipulates that sports betting must be operated on a competitive basis. Once the definition stage of the competition model has been completed, the government will design the minimum institutional structure in order to implement regulation.

“The existing structure is only enough to regulate the Caixa Econômica Federal, which today is monopolistic, and also betting by means of instant lottery, which will soon be operated by a completely private company . . .” he said.
Alexandre Manoel emphasised that the main objectives of the federal government when it comes to sports betting regulation will be to expand the participation of private initiatives in the Brazilian market, facilitating the generation of jobs, and ensuring the integrity of sports.

“What prompted the Ministry to support the legislators was to understand that this regulation contributes to the integrity of sport by guaranteeing that the results of matches will be reliable and derived from the effort of the athletes,” he said.

According to Alexandre Manoel, the government hopes to count on the support of international associations that already act in foreign leagues when it comes to regulation and protecting sports integrity. “We are observing above all European countries that already have a more mature sports betting market, such as Portugal, England and Italy,” he said.

As for offshore companies offering their services without a licence Manoel said regulation would allow the government to “adopt all the legal measures to toughen the existing penalties, as a regulator, we will only address what is legal, what is illegal is a matter for the police,” he said.

Alexandre Manoel also said that the sell off of the instant lottery arm should help the enactment of new sports betting laws. In September 2016 Brazil’s largest state owned bank and lottery operator – the Caixa Econômica Federal (CAIXA) announced that its instant lottery ticket arm would be auctioned off as part of a 25-point plan designed to kick-start the economy.

“The objective is that we are already promoting the opening of the lottery market to the private sector with the Lotex concession . . with certification scheduled for March 26. If this concession is made, it will surely facilitate compliance with the law in two years, ” he concluded.

In November the Brazilian Senate approved the bill to allow for sports betting on the internet and land based sports betting. The initiative was included in Provisional Measure 846/18, which will also redistribute the resources of federal lotteries and provide more funding to the National Public Security Fund (FNSP). Both legislative chambers approved the project in less than 24 hours as the project had already gone through several modifications before being submitted to lawmakers for approval. The bill then became law 13,756/2018 when it was signed by then President of Brazil, Michel Temer in December.

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