Brazil sports betting bill passes Senate but online casino doubts prevail

Brazilian Senate
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The Brazil sports betting bill has passed the Senate, however, certain amendments mean that the Chamber of Deputies will have to ratify the bill and clear up the future of online casino within the framework. 

Senators backed the ‘basic text’ of the bill but there were significant amendments attached which will require Chamber of Deputies approval. 

The key decision was to uphold an appeal by Liberal Party Senator Carlos Portinho (RJ) to exclude online casino modalities from the Bill’s text.

As referenced by the Senate’s plenary notes, Portinho defended the Liberal Party’s stance against the online casino being upheld , which holds the primary objective to regulate fixed-odds betting.

The notes detailed: “Portinho highlighted that the emphasis restores the position of the original provisional measure, which excluded casino games – which, according to him, could be dealt with in another project. He objected to the inclusion of virtual games in the text, noting that the profit margins are smaller in real games.”

However, the core functions of the bill – to regulate sports betting – remain intact, with several amendments of the Economic Affairs Committee being upheld by Senators. 

The tax framework, as amended by the EAC, means that there will be a 12% tax on licensed operators and a 15% tax on player prizes. 2% of the income will go to social security while sport will gain 6.63% of the proceeds and tourism 5%. 

All licensees will be required to pay a fee of around BRL 30m for a five year license which will allow each operator to run three skins.

The regulated market will be overseen by the Ministry of Finance, which will formalize further regulations such as consumer protections, standards and a code of conduct. 

One part of the standards and conduct regulations enshrined in law is that operators will be fined up to 20% of a company’s proceeds, with a cap of BRL 2bn per violation. Sanctions may also entail the immediate suspension or cancellation of a company’s licensing permissions.

Now passed by the Senate of Brazil, the sports betting bill will return to the Chamber of Deputies, Brazil’s lower house, where it is likely that online casino will be one of the key topics of discussion.