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Brazil – Deadline for sports betting regulation passes  

By - 13 December 2022

The government of President Jair Bolsonaro had until yesterday to finalize the process of regulating sports betting but that deadline has now passed. This is because according to the law enacted by his predecessor Law number 13,756 required the Ministry of Finance (currently the Ministry of Economy) to promote the regulation of sports betting within a time limit of four years.

Law No. 13,756 was signed by then President of Brazil, Michel Temer in 2018 and legalised sports betting.  Brazil’s Secretariat of Evaluation, Planning, Energy and Lottery (SECAP) had been working on how sports betting could be regulated for some years and last year the ex head of SECAP went as far to say that the privatization of sportsbetting would go ahead of this year’s World Cup.

There has been a series of delays while Bolsonaro has danced around the issue. Bolsonaro had said that he would sign the bill before the deadline and was in the process of editing the decree that would regulate online sports betting.

But the decree was delayed after Bolsonaro held a meeting with conservative legislator Marco Feliciano. Feliciano said that he had convinced Bolsonaro as the practice went against the evangelical faith and would pave the way for the opening up of land based casinos. However in October Bolsonaro seemed to switch stance on the issue again and said that he was in the process of finalising the decree.

The Ministry of Finance was granted two years to establish a regulatory framework to govern the market and provide for licences although this could be extended for a further two. In February 2020, Brazil’s Secretariat of Evaluation, Planning, Energy and Lottery (SECAP) launched a third consultation on fixed-odds sports betting, calling for public comments.  In November last year, the head of SECAP Gustavo Guimarães stated that SECAP was working on several different fronts in order to ensure that the privatisation of sports betting went ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

It is unclear as to what will now happen in terms of the sports betting bill but after over four years and with just days before he leaves office  it now seems highly unlikely that Bolsonaro will sign the bill.   

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