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Brazil – Gaming associations criticise online bill

By - 18 December 2023

Associations representing the sports betting sector have criticised the exclusion of online casino games from the Brazilian sports betting bill which was approved by senators last week. With 37 votes in favour and 27 against, the senators included an amendment by Carlos Portinho excluding online casino games from the bill.

André Gelfi, president of the Brazilian Institute of Responsible Gaming (IBJR) said:

 “It was really bad. Basically, they will regulate 30% of the market, which only has sports betting. Today, 70% of operators operate with online games. The vast majority offer both.”  

André Gelfi claimed that, if the senator’s amendment is approved, most of operators that currently operate in the country from abroad will have no interest in obtaining a licence.

 “We will have 75% to 80% of the market unregulated, with a lack of control, unlimited gambling, among other problems. It is a very bad decision for the organization of the iGaming market as a whole,” he said.

According to Wesley Cardia, president of the National Association of Gaming and Lotteries (ANJL). “Not voting for regulation is helping to maintain illegal gambling.”

In addition, the ANJL issued an official statement regarding the vote in the senate plenary saying that the government would lose out on significant tax revenue.

“In addition, the lack of regulations allows illegal websites to continue to operate outside the rules established by the Ministry of Finance. It harms supervision and maintains insecurity for bettors, leaving them at the mercy of irresponsible and abusive gambling practices . . . . The ANJL hopes that the Chamber of Deputies corrects this omission by the Federal Senate, also bringing online games into the realm of legality and good regulation.”

The senate plenary approved the basic text of the bill that regulates sports betting (PL 3.626/2023), from the Executive Branch. As the bill was modified in the Senate, the text will return to the Chamber of Deputies for analysis. The bill still has to pass the lower house before being signed into law. The proposal imposes 12% revenue tax for online betting companies and 15% on the winnings paid to gamblers. The senate bill increased the duration of licences from three to five years and allows each licensed company permission to run three instead of just one online betting platform. License fees remained unchanged at R$30 million. 

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