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Brazil’s Ministry of Finance announces new rules for payment methods and payments

By - 22 April 2024

The Ministry of Finance’s Secretariat of Prizes and Betting (SPA) published Regulatory Ordinance SPA/MF No. 615 on April 18, 2024, outlining the general rules to be followed in payment transactions carried out by fixed-odds betting operators.

The ordinance is part of a set of regulations aimed at regulating the activities of fixed-odds betting operators in the national territory, with the goal of providing more security to Brazilian citizens who engage in sports betting or online gaming.

The regulation governs the entire flow of money via the bets authorized by the Ministry of Finance, from the moment a player transfers funds for betting to the moment of payment of any prizes.

The norm stipulates that bettors may transfer funds for betting via PIX, TED, debit cards, or prepaid cards, provided that the funds come from their registered betting account.

PIX is an instant payment system launched by the Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) in November 2020. In the two and a half years since its launch, the Pix system has been used by more than 140 million individuals (about 80 percent of the adult population) and 13 million firms, according to BCB statistics as of May 2023. TED (Transferência Eletrônica Disponível) is an electronic funds transfer system widely used in Brazil for interbank transactions.

Financial contributions in cash, payment slips, cryptocurrencies, or any other alternative form of deposit that may hinder the identification of the origin of the funds will not be accepted. According to a Ministry of Finance press release credit cards or any other post-paid instruments will also not be accepted.

The Regulatory Ordinance sets a maximum period of 120 minutes for authorized bets by the Ministry of Finance to pay out the prizes owed to bettors from the end of the real sports event or virtual online gaming session on which the bets were placed.

The regulation also establishes rules to ensure the segregation of bettors’ and operators’ funds. For instance, in line with Law No. 14,790, bettors’ funds cannot be used to cover operational expenses of the betting operators or be pledged as collateral for the operators’ debts, thereby minimizing the risk of financial mismanagement.

It also mandates that authorized betting operators must establish a financial reserve of R$5 million as a preventive measure in case of insolvency or illiquidity, aimed at ensuring the payment of prizes and other amounts owed to bettors.

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