Brazil, a country that was seemingly far from realizing a fully legal sports betting market, could be a step closer to making that happen following the approval of a lottery measure this week that will enable the introduction of terrestrial and online sports betting.

The measure, MP 846, focuses primarily on how revenue from lotteries will be distributed among, other things, sport and culture. But crucially, it makes provision for plans that will give the green light for regulated sports betting. In essence, terrestrial operators will have their gross revenue capped at 14 per cent and they will have to pay out at least 80 per cent of the handle to bettors. Government-funded programs will soak up the remaining six per cent.

Translating that split for online operators, their gross revenue will be limited to just eight per cent, with 89 per cent of the handle going to bettors. The remaining three per cent will be taken by the government.

With the ink barely dry on this week’s approval, there is little time remaining for discussion or debate. MP 846 must now pass muster with Brazil’s Senate before the end of this month for it to become enshrined in law.

MP 846 was edited in August as a new version of MP 841/2018, released in June, which is no longer valid. The new text is the result of a coordinated effort by of the Ministries of Culture and Sport who were unhappy with the original measure which decreased the amount of revenue they would receive from lottery receipts. The federal government expects that the new measure will guarantee the annual transfer of about R$1bn for public safety, R$630m for sports and R$443m for culture.