Brazil sports betting back to square one as Bolsonaro fails to sign regulations

The future of regulated sports betting in Brazil was thrown into doubt yesterday, as outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro failed to sign the country’s sports betting regulations before the deadline to do so expired yesterday (12 December).
Brazil sports betting

Brazil had spent years attempting to regulate sports betting, with the senate passing Federal Law No. 13,756/2018 to legalise fixed-odds sports betting, both land-based and online, four years ago.

When this law passed, the government was given two years to create and sign off on regulations, plus the option of an extension for a further two years.

With the extensions, this meant that the final deadline was 12 December, 2022.

The regulations were ultimately published by the Secretariat of Evaluation, Planning, Energy and Lottery (SECAP) in May, and included a BRL22.2m (£3.6m/€4.2m/$4.4m) licence fee.

Back to square one in Brazil

However, with this date having now passed, the outgoing president has opted not to sign these regulations into law.

As a result, plans for regulated sports betting in Brazil appear to be set back to square one.

While international operators licensed elsewhere are likely to continue to be tolerated, there would not be a path to operation for Brazil-based businesses.

Private lotteries and sports betting

However, Brazil-based businesses may ultimately be able to  be involved in the fixed-odds sports betting market through a plan to end Caixa’s lottery monopoly in the country.

A law passed by both houses of Brazil’s legislature would create a Health Lottery and Tourism Lottery, which could take both retail and online bets and raise funding for the National Health Fund (FNS) and the Brazilian Agency of International Tourism Promotion (Embratur).

If the private lottery is permitted to offer betting, it remains to be seen what impact this will have on internationally regulated operators also offering sports betting in Brazil.

Elsewhere, Brazil also still appears set to regulate a wide range of gaming products, including online casino.

House of Representatives Bill No. 442/1991 was approved in February of this year and would would bring casino, online gaming, horse racing, slot machines, bingo and jogo de bicho operations to Brazil.

While licensed online gambling would be permitted, unlicensed foreign websites would be blocked, and servers for locally licensed igaming operators must be located in Brazil.

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