Published: April 29, 2024

BRAZIL: Loterj, the Rio de Janeiro government body responsible for state lotteries, is taking legal action

Loterj, the Rio de Janeiro government body responsible for state lotteries, took legal action. The objective is to obtain an order from Anatel (National Telecommunications Agency) to block betting sites that do not have a state license.

This action is seen as yet another effort by Loterj to make it more difficult for the federal government to regulate sports bettingCaio de Souza Loureiro, partner in the Gaming & E-sports area at TozziniFreire Advogados, stated that the request has no legal basis in an interview with Info Money.

“There is no legal basis for the request, as it is based on a State Decree, which can never override Federal Law. The measure is yet another attempt by Loterj to disrupt the progress of federal regulation.”

Loterj goes after irregular bookmakers

Law 14,790/2023 granted a period of 180 days for bookmakers already operating in Brazil to adapt to the new regulations of the Ministry of Treasury. Therefore, the regulation will only be finalized in the second half of the year.

But Loureiro also highlighted that the Federal Supreme Court (STF) decided to break the Union’s monopoly. In this way, the STF allowed States to also explore lotteries, of which betting is a species. He states: “The primacy of the Union to legislate on the matter is clear”.

Therefore, in response to Loterj’s request, the Court ordered the Federal Attorney’s Office to comment on the case before making a decision. The situation is open and awaits the position of the Prosecutor’s Office.

The reaction of bookmakers

The reaction of bookmakers to Loterj’s initiative is a mix of legal resistance and efforts to adapt to new regulations.

Lottopar (Paraná lottery), which approved five betting houses in Paraná, filed a lawsuit to prevent Loterj from continuing to operate sports betting throughout Brazil. Because, according to the Paraná lottery, the operations take place in Rio de Janeiro, going beyond territoriality.

Furthermore, lawyer Fabiano Jantalia analyzed the situation and said that the Loterj controversy is just “the tip of the iceberg”. He warned of the potential risks that this could generate for the opening of the betting market in Brazil.

But, on the other hand, due to the high demand from national and international companies seeking accreditation, Loterj reopened the deadline for new bookmakers to operate legally in Rio de Janeiro.

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