One Small Signature for Lula, One Giant Step For Brazilian Sports Betting

It’s been 20-years in the making, as long as the last time the football-obsessed nation won the World Cup, but Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has now signed a bill which-–barring rejection by the National Congress–will sign into law and legalise sports betting in the Latin American giant.

Congress now has 120-days to rubber-stamp the legislation, which marks a major iGaming step not only for Brazil, population 215 million, but for the wider Latinx hemisphere.

Under the impending new law in sports-mad Brazil, which has won the football World Cup five times, most recently in 2002, bookmakers will pay an 18 percent tax on their Gross Gaming Revenue, two percent higher than originally mooted by lawmakers.

According to projections, this could yield up to BRL2 billion (£326.2m) in revenue in 2024 — and between BRL6 billion (£978.76m) and BRL12 billion (£1.95bn) in each successive year to the national treasury.

Effectively the new sports betting bill is an amendment of 2018’s Federal Law 13,756, which regulated state-run lotteries.

Responsibility for the new, extended, gaming industry has now passed to the Ministry of Finance, who will oversee the granting of operating licences and the regulation of both retail and online betting.

Beautiful Gaming

In addition, new rules and safeguards have been laid down to establish clear-cut regulation and Responsible Gambling:

Only over 18-year-olds will be allowed to wager.

Public officials who work in the gambling regulatory sector, sports coaches, referees and athletes, and family members or anyone who has the power to influence sporting outcomes, will all be banned from betting on games.

Strong social responsibility and gambling safeguards have been embedded into the proposed legislation.

Companies will be obligated to run clean operations and inform the regulatory Ministry of Finance if they suspect foul play or criminal activity.

Operators will also be tasked with running ‘Gambling Aware’ programmes for their clients. And bookmakers will be banned from acquiring, licensing or sponsoring media rights for any sporting events staged in the South American nation.

Infractions will be met with hefty fines of up to 20 percent of the company’s revenue or BRL2 billion (£326.2m), whichever is greater.

It’s been a long time coming, as long remembered as those two second-half goals scored by (the original) Ronaldo in the 2002 final against Germany in Yokohama, Japan. But this is the firmest news yet that sports betting in sports-mad Brazil will soon be in the back of the net.

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