Brazil Senate Again Delays Sports Betting Discussion

Posted on: November 22, 2023, 06:48h. 

Last updated on: November 22, 2023, 11:16h.

Brazil’s Senate was set to address the country’s sports betting legislation, but has once again delayed its crucial vote. The Economic Affairs Commission (CAE, for its Portuguese acronym) was scheduled to discuss the bill on Tuesday. The meeting was postponed to Wednesday, further pushing back the possibility of a full Senate vote.

Brazil's Senate chamber sits empty
Brazil’s Senate chamber sits empty. The Senate again delayed a vote on proposed sports betting legislation. (Image: AdobeStock)

The delay stems, in part, from a lengthy list of amendments and changes that have been introduced to the bill, which had received approval from the Chamber of Deputies in September. One of the key points of contention revolves around the proposed tax rates on sports betting companies.

There are at least 30 amendments that have been inserted into the text. This is affecting progress and lengthening the odds that the bill will be completely approved this month.

Rewriting the Book

The original text of the bill called for an 18% tax. But Senator Ângelo Coronel, the CAE’s administrator of the bill, reportedly altered it to 15%. Coronel reportedly made a few other changes as well, including a significant reduction in the taxation of winners in fantasy sports contests. The Brazil Senate explained in a news release that he’s advocating for a decrease from the initially proposed 30% tax to a mere 15%.

The sports betting bill has already been a topic of heated discussion in Brazil, with stakeholders from various sectors closely monitoring its progress. The delays and alterations to tax rates have added a layer of complexity to an already intricate legislative process.

The tax change has also caused a dilemma in the Senate. The federal government had initially estimated a substantial financial boost from the taxation of sports betting, projecting revenues ranging from R$2 billion to R$6 billion (US$408 million to $1.22 billion) in 2024.

Additionally, Coronel added a measure that would require another change to the structure of sports betting operators. Companies would need to have a Brazilian partner who holds at least 20% of their share capital.

iGaming Legislation Still Alive

A separate section of the bill would lead to the creation of an online casino market in Brazil, although the details are still rough around the edges. As is the case with sports betting, online gambling would be able to be operated exclusively by companies based in the country and comply with the requirements set out by law.

Unregulated online gaming is alive and well in Brazil. Legalizing the activity would bring more security, reliability, and transparency to the sector.

The regulation also includes protection for players from possible negative side effects of the illegal activity, such as fraud and scams. In addition, it would give the government the opportunity to introduce controls and measures to properly address gambling education and harm.

It’s possible that the CAE will vote on the bill on Wednesday, although it has already delayed the process several times. The Senate can’t put the legislation to a vote until the committee wraps up its review. Even then, provided it survives a full Senate vote, the bill must return to the Chamber of Deputies for further approval of all the changes.