The Ministry of Justice in Brazil is looking into the commercial partnerships that sports clubs and media owners hold with online sportsbook firms.
The investigation follows concerns by SENACON – the National Consumer Secretariat – that such arrangements were agreed upon without the country having finalised the laws and standards that will be applied to its pending federal sports betting regime.
Football clubs reported to be ordered to provide information include the Brasileiro Série A teams of Corinthians, Atlético Mineiro, Flamengo, Fluminense, São Paulo, Cruzeiro, Palmeiras and Santos.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) is also reported to have been ordered to provide information as to why it allowed clubs to participate in deals with unlicensed bookmakers.
Of significance, SENACON believes that several partnerships involving sports clubs and media owners have been determined ‘outside of Brazil’, bypassing existing national laws.
According to Senacon “the activity may be being explored without proper authorization and without any control, inspection or accountability mechanism.”
The Ministry of Justice is reported to have ordered ’54 entities’ within media, sports, and league governance to submit relevant contract information to the authority within the next ten days.
SENACON will also place Rede Globo, Brazil’s largest media owner under the spotlight for agreeing broadcast partnerships with Pixbet and Betnacional to be promoted as lead sponsors of its FIFA Qatar 2022 World Cup coverage.
2022 has seen market stakeholders frustrated at the arduous passage of Brazil’s Betting Law (Bill-442/91) that secured its approval by Congress last February.
Though approved, the bill has failed to secure its final Senate vote and presidential sign-off required to be authorised as a federal mandate.
Hopes that Brazil would launch a sports betting regime to coincide with the FIFA Qatar 2022 World Cup in November have been dashed as President Jair Bolsonaro refuses to sign any federal legislation until a divisive General Election is concluded.
Bolsonaro has further stated his opposition to both of Brazil approved sports betting and online gambling bills, in which the Liberal Party seeks guarantees that foreign operators must pay all domestic taxes
Elsewhere Brazilian lawmakers have demanded that the Pele Law for professional sports be reformed to ensure that bookmakers pay a licensing fee for the IP rights and protections of Brazilian sports leagues.
Following political delays, market observers point out that the sports betting regime faces a tight timetable to be revised and implemented.
Drafted in 2018, Bill-442/91 carries a two-year provision to be federally adopted, which will expire by December – legal boundaries that will provide a new/established government just two months to revise and lose the mandate.