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Brazil's sports betting industry is back to square one after Bolsonaro failed to sign laws

Outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro failed to approve the country's sports betting legislation before the deadline expired yesterday, casting uncertainty on the future of regulated sports betting in Brazil (12 December).

Brazil had spent years attempting to regulate sports betting, with the Senate enacting Federal Law No. 13,756/2018 four years ago to legalise fixed-odds sports betting, both in-person and online.

When this law was established, the government was given two years to design and sign off on regulations, with the option of an additional two-year extension.

With the extensions, the final deadline was set for December 12, 2022.

The regulations were eventually released in May by the Secretariat of Evaluation, Planning, Energy, and Lottery (SECAP), and contained a licence cost of BRL22.2m (£3.6m/€4.2m/$4.4m).

Brazil is back to square one.

However, now that the deadline has gone, the outgoing president has decided not to sign the measures into law.

As a result, plans for regulated sports betting in Brazil look to be on hold.

While international operators licenced elsewhere are likely to be accepted, there would be no way for Brazilian-based enterprises to operate.

Sports betting and private lotteries

However, through a plan to abolish Caixa's lottery monopoly in the country, Brazilian enterprises may eventually be able to participate in the fixed-odds sports betting industry.

A law passed by both chambers of Brazil's legislature would establish a Health Lottery and a Tourism Lottery, both of which would accept retail and online bets and would raise funds for the National Health Fund (FNS) and the Brazilian Agency for International Tourism Promotion (Embratur).

If the private lottery is allowed to offer betting, it remains to be seen how this will affect internationally licenced organisations who already offer sports betting in Brazil.

In other news, Brazil appears to be on track to regulate a wide range of gaming items, including internet casinos.

In February of this year, the House of Representatives passed House Bill No. 442/1991, which would legalise casino, online gambling, horse racing, slot machines, bingo, and jogo de bicho businesses in Brazil.

While regulated internet gambling would be allowed, unlicensed overseas websites would be prohibited, and servers for locally licenced igaming businesses would be required to be based in Brazil.



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