After years of anticipation and an intentional stymie by former President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil may finally witness the implementation of online sports betting legislation this week. It's not finalised yet, but the cards are on the table.
Senator Jorge Kajuru stated on May 4 that the government will submit a plan to regulate and tax sportsbooks to the National Congress for review "in the coming days." That could imply that the analysis will be completed this week.
The changes will be made through a temporary measure and will be adopted practically soon. They still need legislative clearance, which could take up to six months.
Brazilian Sports Betting is Making Headway
In a statement, Kajuru stated that he will be the legislative measure's sponsor. The bill, co-authored by the congressman and Senator Hamilton Mouro, establishes the criteria for organisations offering betting services in the country.
The legislator advocates a milder approach than the government's economic team, chaired by Finance Minister Fernando Haddad. Haddad, who recently revealed a tax scheme for sports betting companies, wants internet betting operators to pay a five-year licence fee of BRL30 million (US$6.05 million).
Haddad's approach, according to Kajuru, is unworkable. He claims that operators want to be a part of the industry but are unwilling to pay "astronomical, abysmal" prices. As a result, he desires a licence charge commensurate to the size of each operator. Haddad, according to Kajuru, looks to be open to the move.
If nothing else changes, sportsbooks will have to give the government 15% of their overall revenue. This figure will be evaluated against the operator's overall gaming income, which includes all payouts.
The senator also stated that he aims to include regulation of sports betting advertising in order to reduce the likelihood of gambling addiction. He does not want to limit the market with exaggerated laws that could have the reverse effect of raising responsible gambling awareness.
The processing of any provisional measure in Brazilian legislation, including the sports betting bill, begins in the Chamber of Deputies. It made it to the Senate, where it has been sitting for nearly a year.
Fine-tuning the Procedure
Companies must meet a number of standards in addition to the licence price in order to acquire accreditation and operate legally in the country. They must keep their headquarters in Brazil, have a minimum capital of BRL100,000 (US$20,190), and get certificates of payment methods utilised and mechanisms to minimise result manipulation.
Companies will continue to pay other taxes, such as the Corporate Income Tax, Social Security Financing Contribution, and others, as usual. These are all determined on the basis of gross income.
Aside from sports betting legislation, MPs will most likely discuss the country's General Sports Law. A proposal on the table repeals various sports-related legislation and creates new subsegments. Among the surprises is a Senate panel proposal that classifies athletics as a "activity of high social interest."
Haddad stated last week that approval is now contingent solely on President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's approval.
By fLEXI tEAM