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Brazil – Senators propose ban on celebrities and athletes from promoting sports betting

By - 9 October 2023

The Senate Sports Committee (CEsp) met last week to vote on a number of  projects including a proposed restriction of advertising PL 3.405/ 2023. The proposal was put forward by Senator Eduardo Girão and seeks to prohibit in sports betting advertising , the participation of people considered to be celebrities or with power to influence bettors , including athletes, presenters and commentators.

“We propose that people who have the power to influence the behaviour of other people are prohibited from carrying out any type of advertising or advertising for bets relating to real sports-themed events.

“This is what can be done, given the current situation, to try to at least protect ordinary citizens from possible emotional or financial damage that may result from the repeated practice of betting activities”, the senator said.

According to the Senate news agency (Agência Senado)  the bill’s rapporteur, Senator Sérgio Petecão  recommended approval of the proposal arguing that the UK had implemented a similar policy. From October 2022 gambling companies in the UK have been banned  from using  sports stars and social media influencers to target under-18s.

Sérgio Petecão stated  that the Constitution establishes powers to restrict the advertising of products and services that are harmful to health and argued that the use of the image of sports celebrities contributed to the “normalization” of the practice of sports betting, which leaves fans “exposed to fallacious speeches that refer to risk-free fun and the possibility of getting rich quickly.”

Senator  Girão also expressed his concern over  the expansion of gaming addiction, enhanced by online gambling, and linked  the practice with crimes such as money laundering, tax evasion for which he argued there were insufficient  technological tools in place  to guarantee proper oversight.

The proposal will be examined by the Communication and Digital Law Commission (CCDD), which has the final say on the matter.

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