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Brazil Reaches A New Milestone In Its Regulated Sports Betting Journey

Brazil’s journey towards a regulated sports betting landscape finally passed one of its final milestones as President Luiz Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva signed off Bill PL3626/23, setting the groundwork for its federal sports wagering and iGaming market. Only a few final regulations stand before the industry’s official launch, which should hopefully happen sometime in 2024.

The New Legislation Had a Difficult Journey Published in a special edition of the government’s ‘Diário Oficial da União,’ President Lula signed Bill PL3626/23 into law, heralding a new era with a regulatory regime for sports betting, popularly known as ‘Bets.’ The President’s stamp of approval on 30 December marked the culmination of a grueling legislative process marked by disagreement and controversy.

The Workers’ Party (PT) government meticulously revised the new bill, which underwent extensive evaluation in Brazil’s Senate Committees since September. The proposed legislation underwent over 100 amendments before gaining federal approval, highlighting the government’s commitment to delivering a comprehensive and efficient regulatory system that is up-to-date with current industry trends.

This critical bill encountered a stalemate over the authorization of online casino operations. However, a final session on 22 December saw the Chamber of Deputies vote overwhelmingly in favor of the legislation (261 in favor and 120 against), greenlighting the legislative framework for iGaming in the country.

A Few Final Hurdles Remain Despite President Lula’s general endorsement of the new bill, he introduced vetoes on several aspects of the legislation, notably regarding tax exemptions for betting prizes up to BRL 2,112 ($432). The National Congress will examine these objections and decide whether to validate or overrule the vetoes.

Taxation was another contentious topic. The bill’s final draft envisions a 12% tax on licensed operators while taxing player prizes at 15%. Businesses eyeing a five-year federal license, allowing operation under three brands, must pay BRL 30 million ($6.13 million) and meet stringent eligibility criteria. The extra funds will bolster the government’s sports, education, and community-focused initiatives.

Brazil’s Ministry of Finance has reported an overwhelming response from 134 businesses expressing interest in joining Brazil’s burgeoning online gambling market, indicating substantial anticipation and momentum in the sector. While the new legislation is a significant milestone for the country, the local regulator must remain proactive to ensure a fair and sustainable business environment prioritizing customer safety.

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