Brazil finally signs off on sports betting and online casino bill

Brazil football fans
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Brazil is, once again, just a Presidential signature away from a legal and regulated sports betting market after the Chamber of Deputies voted in favor of the bill that has dominated 2023. 

Significantly, the bill will legalize and regulate online casino games despite the Senate rejecting and amending those measures. 

Bill PL3626/23 was returned to the Chamber of Deputies on Dec. 13 after the Senate failed to settle long-standing disputes on maintaining online casino games. The main opposition came from Senators of the Liberal Party.

The Senate returned the Bill, excluding online casino, requiring the lower house to review over 100 changes to the legislation’s text since its submission for legislative review of federal modalities by Senate committees.

Yesterday, during the final voting session, a majority of 261 deputies voted in favour of retaining online games, while 120 voted against it. 

Consequently, Brazil’s market has the potential to be a juggernaut as it encompasses both product verticals. 

Under the provisions of the legal text, licensed operators will be subjected to a 12% tax on the GGR they make, while player prizes will be taxed at 15%..

Regarding state revenue, the bill determines that 2% will be sent to social security, while the sectors of sports and tourism will receive 6.63% and 5% of the revenue, respectively. 

Operators must pay BRL 30m ($6m) to obtain a five year license which will allow them to operate up to three separate brands nationwide. However, all licensees must have a domiciled presence in Brazil and appoint a legal guardian.

Betting will be managed by companies authorised by the Ministry of Finance, meeting certain requirements, including a Brazilian member on their board with at least a 20% share capital. 

It has been suggested that over 130 companies have expressed interest in obtaining a license for the Brazilian market once established. 

But before licensing can begin, President Lula must put pen to paper on the bill and the leftist leader has indicated he is prepared to do so. 

However, there will be nervousness after the dramatic events of the end of 2022, when former President Jair Bolsonaro refused to sign off on a sports betting bill, meaning the legislative process had to start from the beginning throughout 2023.