Brazil’s Sports Betting Bill Progresses: New Representative Takes Charge
Despite its legalization half a decade ago, the Brazilian sports betting industry remains unregulated. However, the narrative is steadily shifting due to the Brazilian government’s relentless and deliberate pursuit of regulation. The country recently named Senator Angelo Coronel as the new representative for Bill 3626/23, which seeks to build a regulatory framework for online gambling and sports betting in Brazil. What prospects and challenges lie ahead, and how will the new regulatory framework impact the expansive Brazilian gaming market?
Underwriting Bill 3626/23
Senator Angelo Coronel’s selection is a deliberate endeavor to accelerate Brazil’s transition to a regulated sports betting and online gambling business. The senator is a well-known supporter of progressive legislation because of his previous initiatives at the forefront of gambling advocacy. He was nominated as the representative of Bill 186/2014, which sought the authorization of casinos in Brazil because of his zeal in this area. As the present bill’s rapporteur, the senator is responsible for seeing that all necessary measures are taken to make it law.
The new legislative proposal has already gone through some preliminary processes, although the process is far from finished. The Chamber of Deputies Plenary has previously adopted the bill. The final version includes 49 revisions submitted by the Senate’s Sports Commission (Cesp), which the Economic Affairs Committee and the Senate’s Sports Commission are currently reviewing. The evaluation procedure will take 45 days to complete. The committees will then deliver the reviewed bill to the Senate Plenary. Beginning on November 11, 2023, the parliamentary agenda will follow the constitutional urgency regime. The purpose is to bring clarity and regulation to the sports betting industry.
The Audacious Regulatory Attempts
For some years, there has been a drive to regulate Brazil’s sports betting industry, with actual victories marking its anniversaries. Bill No. 186/2014 was introduced in 2014 to help regulate and approve commercial operators’ ability to leverage games of chance, such as casino games and online sports betting. In 2016, another bill, House Bill No. 442/1991, proposed similar ideas. The Brazilian Congress later approved law No. 13,756/2018. The legislation established fixed-odds sports betting. It was a lottery with a twist in that the punter had to know what prize awaited them at the moment of betting.
In 2018, Law No. 13,756/2018 was passed. It was supposed to be implemented in two years, but it could be delayed for another couple of years. In 2019, another bill, House Bill No. 530/2019, was introduced. It tried to make profiting from integrated casino games legal. In July 2023, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed Provisional Measure No. 1,182, laying the basis for legislation that can control the country’s sports betting industry. By signing the temporary legislation, the president gains the authority to adopt all relevant policies that are subject to fast-track approval by Congress.
Analysis of the Brazilian Sports Betting Industry
Since the early 2010s, the Brazilian sports betting industry has been on the rise. Brazil is part of the massive LatAm market with enormous potential for the online gaming and sports betting industries. Offshore operators are at the heart of the sector, and their activities have driven the market because federal rules do not restrict them. Following recent reports of impending regulation, several companies are attempting to be formally licensed in the South American country.
Companies vying for a piece of the Brazilian sports betting market believe that entering a newly regulated market is a prudent move, given the underlying potential. Some operators may enter the Brazilian market through alliances, as these have the highest possibility of meeting local requirements. Partnerships also increase the likelihood of satisfying customer preferences. Brazil has a population of about 200 million people, which is sufficient to satisfy the profit targets of innovative enterprises.
Brazil will also greatly benefit from the upcoming regulation. Taxing winnings and revenues generated by the sector will have a significant impact on the country’s economy. Brazilians are accustomed to and have benefited from the uncontrolled sector of the online gambling industry. In this regard, they are optimistic about the proposed regulation.
Senator Angelo Coronel’s selection as rapporteur of the online gambling and sports betting bill is a step in the right direction. This and other efforts for the industry demonstrate the country’s resolve to capitalize on its potential. Brazil is likely to become the largest regulated sports betting market within the next half-decade, as both local and foreign gaming operators will have fewer restrictions when setting up shop in this vibrant market