Published: September 7, 2023

Brazil’s Updated Sports Betting Framework Could Include Gambling Provisions

There’s a chance that Brazil could consider bringing back its gambling market much sooner than anticipated. It could be covered in the upcoming framework that will govern sports betting, but is solely dependent on sports betting operators’ ability to play by the rules.

President Luiz Inacio da Silva holding a Brazilian flag. The country is close to formalizing its sports betting regulations, and may bring back casinos. (Image: Getty Images)

The regulation of online sports betting began to be seen among members of the government and at the top of Congress as a first step towards a possible release in the country of gambling, according to local media. They quote inside sources who have said that gambling’s inclusion in the forthcoming sports betting regulations received support from Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco.

If sports betting operators conduct themselves maturely and are responsible, according to one of the sources, Pacheco could push for casinos with a great deal of enthusiasm. He reportedly considers the regulation of sports betting a test, and if it works well, it opens the door for the return of casinos, and  subsequently, online gambling.

Gambling on the Future

Right now, the future of gambling in Brazil is a gamble itself. However, the new Minister of Tourism, Celso Sabino, and the Ministry of Finance have put their stamp of approval on the topic. The latter, with an eye on the initiative’s revenue potential, is ready to regulate the market if it goes live.

Last week, Sabino stated in recent discussions with the media outlet Metrópoles that sees legalized gambling as a benefit. When he was a deputy in the Chamber of Deputies, he voted in favor of a bill on the subject that the chamber approved over a year ago. The discussion is currently at a standstill in the Senate, showing no signs of a pending revival.

The text approved by the deputies would allow bingo halls, casinos, and other games. Obtaining a license to operate would require complying with a series of criteria, in addition to requiring periodic payments to cover ongoing inspections.

Pacheco is taking advantage of the sports betting discussion as a reference to see how the Treasury moves forward. He will then use that information to restart conversations in the Senate about the legalization of gambling, according to the political sources.

Arthur Lira, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, is putting pressure on Pacheco and the Senate to finalize the language of the sports betting framework. He hopes the chamber will respond and submit its final version by this Friday.

Brazil’s Ministry of Finance presented its updated provisional sports betting measure this week, which addresses certain regulations and taxes. The rules are now enforceable as law, but still depends on Congressional approval.

Brazil Continues Losing Millions

Some gaming operators might not complain about the lack of a regulated Brazilian market, since they don’t have to pay taxes. However, the country continues to lose millions of dollars in revenue that it desperately needs. After decades of losses, more government officials are learning that previous administrations squandered much of the country’s future.

A recent Playtech report showed that a significant 60% of Brazilians who participated in a survey admitted to engaging in online gambling within the past six months. The report, Responsible Gambling: Consumer Insights and Trends in Latin America, serves as a complement to Playtech’s initial research publication from January 2022.

This update allowed the team to interview a diverse sample of 2,500 people across multiple countries in Latin America. The goal was to learn more about individuals’ gambling habits and their perspectives on gambling. That 60% represents hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue for Brazil over the past few years.

Every day, the undeniable necessity for market regulation and the establishment of a gambling system becomes increasingly apparent. Now, the game is finally changing, and possibly introducing the largest regulated gaming market in Latin America.

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