Brazil’s Sports Betting Market Closer to Launch Following Latest Approval

Posted on: December 22, 2023, 08:11h. 

Last updated on: December 22, 2023, 10:37h.

In a decisive move for the country and Latin American gaming, Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies has finally approved the bill that regulates fixed-odd sports betting. The bill, which had been languishing in the legislative process for months because of opposition from the Evangelical Parliamentary Front, passed with a resounding vote of 292 in favor and 114 against.

The Brazilian flag flying against a backdrop of the sun
The Brazilian flag flying against a backdrop of the sun. A sports betting bill has now been approved by the Senate and Chamber of Deputies. (Image: Pixabay)

This landmark decision marks a significant step toward the legalization and regulation of online gambling in Brazil. The bill, which was approved by the Chamber of Deputies in September, was sent back for further analysis after the Senate made changes to the content.

The approval by the Chamber reinstates the authorization of online casinos, which had been removed from the Senate’s version of the bill. This marks a huge advance for online gambling and betting across the country, promising to deliver significant revenue to the government.

Overcoming Obstacles

The bill’s approval wasn’t without its challenges. Evangelical deputies, who have long opposed gambling on moral grounds, vehemently tried to block the legislation, arguing that gambling can lead to addiction, financial ruin, and other social harms.

Proponents of the bill, led by Speaker Arthur Lira, countered these arguments, emphasizing that gambling is already taking place in Brazil, albeit in an unregulated manner. They argued that legalizing and regulating the industry would bring it under control, preventing money laundering and protecting consumers from exploitation.

Lira also pointed out that the proposal had already been approved by the Chamber in September and by the Senate, where evangelical parliamentarians had secured some victories. He argued that delaying the vote further would not prevent online gambling, but rather would allow it to continue in an unregulated environment, increasing the risk of fraud and addiction.

The Chamber of Deputies will now finalize its review of the bill and send it to Brazilian President Lula da Silva for his approval. Once signed into law, the bill will establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for the online gambling industry in Brazil.

What the Bill Includes

The bill will impose strict age and identity verification requirements, as well as responsible gambling measures. Online gambling operators will be required to adopt measures to prevent addiction, such as setting deposit limits and implementing cooling-off periods. They will also be required to provide information about responsible gambling practices to their customers.

The Senate’s 12% tax rate on gaming operators is still intact. Gamblers and bettors will pay a 15% personal income tax on the net value of the prizes they win. This charge will be paid against the total number of bets per year, but only on the amount won greater than BRL2,112 (US$433).

The bill’s passage is a significant victory for the Brazilian government, which has long sought to regulate the online gambling industry. It is also a victory for the gaming industry, which has been eager to expand its operations in Brazil.