Published: January 3, 2024

Brazil sports betting set for 2024 after President Lula signs off

The launch of what could be one of the world’s biggest national betting markets took its last leap this week as President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva, put pen to paper on legislation.

On 22 December, Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies had approved the final form of Bill PL3626/23, the draft bill introduced by President Lula earlier this year to regulate a national market.

Lula subsequently signed the Bill into law on 30 December. The Ministry of Finance now has the task of developing and publishing regulations, with tasks including creation of a ‘dedicated market supervisor’ to oversee standards, conduct and consumer protection.

Market launch will mean a great deal to a range of sports stakeholders, not least among them bookmakers themselves but also sports clubs, leagues and associations, various B2B providers, sports data companies and integrity organisations.

Following introduction to the National Congress, the Betting Bill progressed through the Chamber of Deputies and into the Senate, where it was subsequently subject to over 100 amendments.

Sports organisations were able to draw a sign of relief when marketing rules were ironed out. A proposed ban on betting advertising during sports and on sponsorship deals between clubs and operators was rejected by Senators, although such partnerships will still be subject to some limitations.

This was a positive development for sports clubs due to the vast commercial and revenue generating potential such arrangements pose, with some clubs even going as far to initiate a petition calling for a ban to be rejected back in November.

On the other hand, however, policymakers maintain concerns about potential exposure of young and vulnerable people to betting related content.

The main issue the Bill faced in the Senate was opposition from Liberal Party legislators about the inclusion of online casino in the legislation. This forced the Bill to return to the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house), where it was finally approved.

Now that President Lula has signed the Bill into law, the Workers Party government’s goal of boosting state tax revenue is now also a step closer to completion. This too has significance for the sports sector.

A breakdown of funding destinations from betting tax will see sports ministries and committees benefit from 36%, followed by tourism (28%), public safety (13.6%) and health and social security (10% respectively).

Bookmakers are now eagerly awaiting the launch – according to the government, 134 businesses have signed pre-market ordinance measures to join the forthcoming regulated sector.

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