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Brazil – House of Deputies approves online bill

By - 22 December 2023

The plenary of the Chamber of Deputies approved by 292 votes in favour to 114 against and with one abstention, the basic text of the bill that regulates online gambling. The lower house included online casinos in the bill, despite protests from the evangelical caucus.

The rapporteur of the proposal in the Chamber of Deputies where the bill first originated, Deputy Adolfo Viana highlighted that Brazil needs to face the responsibility of regulating online betting, which is already a reality throughout Brazil. He added that, at the request of the evangelical group, any mention of physical games was left out of the proposal.

“We want a law that, definitively, establishes that these betting sites will be supervised and taxed by the country. If we do not approve the project, the games will continue to take place without supervision”, he said.

Companies that want to operate in the market will have to pay a license of up to R$30 million. Operators will require authorization by the Ministry of Finance, with licenses valid for up to five years and they will be able to operate three brands. Legal entities must meet several requirements. These include having a domiciled presence in the country.

The Senate Plenary approved the basic text of the bill that regulates sports betting (PL 3.626/2023), from the Executive Branch earlier this month. As the bill was modified in the Senate, the text returned to the Chamber of Deputies for analysis.

The approved bill imposes 12% revenue tax for online betting companies and 15% on the winnings paid to gamblers after the  exemption range applicable to individuals of R$2,112 per month.

However, both the National Gaming Association and Lotteries (ANJL) and the Brazilian Institute of Responsible Gaming (IBJR) had criticised the online gambling bill passed by the senate as it omitted online casinos from the bill.  With 37 votes in favour and 27 against, the senators included an amendment by Carlos Portinho excluding online casino games. According to the Ministry of Finance, if the project excluded casinos, revenue for the government would have been reduced by around 70%.

The expectation is that R$12 billion will be raised in 2024 by the newly regulated online sports betting and casino sector.

The bill will now be sent to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for approval.

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