Latam April recap: Chile and Brazil move to opposite ends of betting regulation

Latin America
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SBC Americas once again reviews the most important news from Latin America, this time from April 2023. While the biggest news came from Brazil and Chile, due to Dreams and Enjoy stopping their merger plans, Colombia was once again the leading country in the region, as it approved the operation of instant win games. Brazil, on the other hand, finally announced details around its sports betting rules, which are expected to be approved soon.

Enjoy and Dreams cancel their merger plans

After a year of working towards a business merger that would’ve led to a mega operator with 29 casino licenses and 19 hotels, Enjoy and Dreams informed the Financial Market Commission that they abandoned their combination plans. Although the operators didn’t share many details, Enjoy assured that the main focus from now on will be on online operations, which were recently launched in Brazil under the EnjoyWin brand. Besides the cancellation of their merger plans, Enjoy and Dreams were accused by Corporación Meier of colluding to win the municipal casino tender, although both operators denied it.

Brazil sets taxes for sports betting operators and licenses fees

In initial drafts sent to the General Attorney’s Office for the National Treasure, the Brazilian government proposed that each sports betting company will need to pay $5.9m (30m reais) for a five-year renewable license. It also proposed a tax of 15% on GGR, although this percentage was later increased to 16% to allocate the extra 1% to the Ministry of Sports and promote professional and amateur activities. Of this 16%, only 1.63% goes to soccer clubs, denying their request to increase it to 5.01%.

Chile bans sponsorship deals between sports teams and sportsbooks

The Chilean Chamber of Deputies approved a project that bans sponsorship agreements between sports clubs and sportsbooks. The bill, which had the support from different land-based operators and associations, was sent to the Senate for discussion and eventually a vote. The measure proposed by Deputy Marco Antonio Sulantay had been under scrutiny for a year, as it opposed the commercial ties between sports entities and a sector that had never been regulated and operated in a gray area. Although it initially only covered soccer, this proposal also includes other sports.

Codere pursues a $110m liquidity injection

The Spanish group with great presence in Argentina, Mexico and other Latin American countries got the approval from bondholders to pursue a $110m liquidity injection to avoid insolvency. Due to rising operating costs, Codere had to create a new 2023-2027 plan, which includes an operational review and a capital structure adjustment. Despite the major hurdles that the multinational is facing, the company believes that it can achieve positive EBITDA levels and pre-pandemic profits by 2025.

Colombia enables instant win games operations

The Colombian gambling regulator Coljuegos announced that operators can offer instant win games through online channels. Besides allowing operators to increase their offer, this positions Colombia once again as a leading market in Latin America, reinforcing its title as the most innovative country throughout the continent. Although this modality had been approved since 2021, Coljuegos clarified that chance, scratch, traditional and online lottery, as well as SUPER Astro and other games don’t have the same authorization as traditional instant win games.

The CBF asks for a bigger revenue percentage from betting

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) issued a formal request to the local government to obtain a 4% of the total revenues made by sports betting operators. The soccer teams opposed this request and argued that they didn’t want intermediaries between them and the government and asked for 5.01% of the revenues. According to different experts, this would’ve forced operators to incur losses, since the revenues would only be enough to cover operating costs.

Revenues from Chilean casinos fall 2.4%

The Superintendency of Gambling Casinos revealed that Chilean casinos suffered a 2,4% decline in revenues in the second month of the year when compared to February 2022. The 22 casinos registered $59m in GGR and sent $21m to the state in taxes, which represents a 5,8% increase year-over-year. Despite the decline, the number of visitors was 709.405, or a 42% increase when compared to February 2022. However, the average spending was $87, which represents a 34% fall compared to February 2022.