Published: October 27, 2023

Brazil's Finance Minister seeks to prevent sports betting on state lotteries

The Brazilian Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad, asked the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office to prepare a legal resource to prevent the granting of licenses to sports betting companies by state lotteries.

While the bill that seeks to regulate sports betting is in the Senate, after being approved by the Chamber of Deputies, the issue of state lotteries has become a concern for the Ministry of Finance.

Within this framework, the special advisor José Francisco Manssur, in charge of regulation in the Treasury, met with the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco, to discuss the issue. Manssur himself had warned the gambling houses that if they continued with the idea of acquiring licenses in the state lotteries, they would be subject to prosecution.

Haddad sought to introduce this prohibition through an amendment to the bill being discussed in Congress, but there was not enough time to negotiate the approval with the deputies. Now they are trying to find a senator who will agree to sponsor the amendment. 

The federal government wants the bill to make it clear that only licenses from the federation will allow the operation of sports betting on national territory and, in this way, avoid a repetition of situations such as the one that arose at the Rio de Janeiro State Lottery (Loterj), which declared that it had the power to grant national licenses for betting, for payment of BRL 5 million ($1 million).

Loterj issued a public notice in April and began granting five-year operating licenses to companies. Among the brands that paid for the license is Pixbet, sponsor of the Flamengo and Corinthians soccer teams.

The bill approved by the Chamber of Deputies provides for five-year licenses of up to BRL 30 million ($6 million).

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