Brazilian sports betting takes a step toward regulation

By Matthew Enderby

Lottery legislation including plans to legalise sports betting in Brazil has been approved by the House of Deputies.

Provisional Measure (PM) 846/2018 primarily details the division of lottery revenue among public security, cultural and social programs, but also plans to authorise online and land-based sports betting.

The legislation now allows the Ministry of Finance up to two years to draft the required regulations and issue licenses.

According to Senator Flexa Ribeiro, the author of the measure, Brazil’s digital sports betting market could be worth an estimated R$4.3bn ($1.14bn).

Reports state the measure only received one opposing vote, which came from Social Party MP Gilberto Nascimento.

The details of the measure require land-based operators to pay a minimum of 80% betting handle to customers. Gross revenue should not exceed 14%, with the remaining 6% split among the government programs.

Online operators will pay 89% to players, with revenue capped at 8% and the government receiving the remainder.

For PM 846/2018 to become law, the Senate must now approve the measure by 28 November and Brazil’s incoming Minister of Justice, Sergio Moro, has already put his support behind the measure.

This progress toward regulation provides a contrasting result to news from earlier this year.

In March, Senate Bill PLS 186/2014, a bill which would have seen the legalisation of bingo, online sports betting and casino games, was dismissed by a 13-2 senate committee vote, despite a wide interest from Brazilian and international operators.

It would have given the Brazilian Federal Government final responsibility for granting concessions for the exploitation of any type of games of chance and it would have allowed the Ministry of Finance to appoint the federal agencies that would be in charge of regulation and ongoing licensing duties.


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