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Brazil – Government to publish new rules on advertising

By - 5 February 2024

The federal government is preparing an ordinance with new rules for online gambling and betting advertisements with a special focus on the role of “influencers.”

The ordinance aims to prevent the dissemination of false information, in addition to the promotion of unregulated games without authorization. The special advisor to the Ministry of Finance, José Francisco Manssur, highlighted the importance of the ordinance to hold operators and advertising vehicles, including social networks, accountable.

 “We are talking about holding operating companies and social networks responsible . . . We will not allow camouflaged advertising. Advertising will have to be specified. And we will punish influencers who do not observe the rules and cause harm to people,” he said in an interview with newspaper Extra.

Camouflaged advertising is a marketing strategy where promotional content is integrated into non-promotional material in a way that may not be immediately recognizable as advertising to the audience.

New rules would establish the direct accountability of operators and those who disseminate information regarding unlicensed betting sites and unauthorised games.

In order to promote transparency, the Ministry of Finance said that it would make it a requirement for betting companies to disclose the algorithms used in their games.

The advertising ordinance under development, in partnership with the Brazilian National Council for Self-Regulation of Advertising (CONAR), will include new guidelines for regulating the online gambling sector. The participation of teenagers will be prohibited, as will advertisements aimed at this audience. Furthermore, all advertisements will need to carry the message: “Gamble responsibly.”

Influencers and gambling is one of the issues the government needs to address quickly. Promoted by influencers unregulated online slots have become hugely popular in Brazil. One of the most popular is the “Jogo do Tigrinho” game (“Fortune Tiger”) which is based on the signs of the Chinese zodiac. In the state of Maranhão, the number of people suffering losses and huge gains obtained by influencers has led to a criminal investigation over alleged ties to organised crime and money laundering.

Last month Manssur announced that new regulatory ordinances would be issued on a number of topics to further strengthen, monitor and provide control over the online gaming industry. Manssur specifically mentioned the banning of the “Fortune Tiger” game. According to Manssur authorized operators will only be able to offer online games that have been certified by specialized international entities and are registered with the Ministry of Finance. Advertising he said will also be monitored.

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