Federal regulation on Brazilian sports betting is on the horizon, potentially launching one of the world’s biggest gambling markets and, with that, huge opportunities for sponsorship, data rights and other areas of sports business.

This week, the Economic Affairs Committee (CAE) of the Federal Senate approved Bill (PL) No. 3,626/2023 – the Bill introduced by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on 25 July 2023 – with several proposed amendments.

The final vote on the Bill will take place next week on 29 November. Given that the legislation has been approved at every stage of the Chamber of Deputies and Federal Senate, betting and sporting stakeholders are likely anticipating market launch.

So what does this mean for sports? Brazil is one of the world’s biggest sporting markets, with a huge appetite in particular for football. Sponsorship activity in this area is therefore expected but, under amendments approved by the CAE, it will be limited.

Speaking to iGaming Daily in July, Marcel Hein, Marketing Director of AllSports, noted that Brazilians are often receptive to sports sponsorship arrangements as they see such deals as being financially supportive of the clubs they support.

Policymakers, however, have voiced concerns over exposure over young people’s exposure to betting advertising and marketing. Despite this, several marketing techniques have been approved by the CAE.

Firstly, an amendment to prohibit sports betting advertising via broadcasts, in any form of media, was rejected. Senators also turned down a proposal to ban teams, individual athletes, former athletes, referees and members of professional and amateur sporting technical committees from engaging in betting sponsorships.

The legislators explained that this was due to the latter ban potentially conflicting with the “conflict with the constitutional principle of free enterprise and freedom of contract.”

Commenting on advertising, CAE rapporteur Angelo Coronel remarked: “We understand the concern about the excessive exposure of young people to advertising pieces in various media. However, we believe that the best path is the adequate regulation of advertising, with the sanctions provided for in the Project.”

A desire to uphold free enterprise was also cited as the reason for rejection of another amendment concerning ‘abuse advertising’ and ‘propaganda’ by sports teams, athletes, presenters and commentators.

“We understand that the suggested restrictions are broad and may conflict with the constitutional principle of free enterprise and freedom to contract, so they do not deserve acceptance,” the CAE explained.

The rejection of some sponsorship restrictions may come as a welcome relief to Brazil’s football clubs – earlier this month, 34 clubs signed a petition calling for a ban on sports betting sponsorships to be rejected.

Aside from sponsorships and marketing, the CAE has also set out provisions for safeguarding Brazilian sporting integrity. With the market launch anticipated for over four years, this is an area operators interested in the market have already sought to engage with.

Notably, a range of international and local operators formed the Brazilian Institute of Responsible Gaming (IBJR), and the organisation subsequently signed an agreement with the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA).

On corruption and safeguarding, Brazil’s Bill requires identity proofing procedures – which also serves the function of ensuring the 18+ age limit is enforced – and that operators and financial/payment institutions must keep records of ‘bets, prizes, withdrawals and deposits’.

The Bill will now return to the Chamber to be voted on once again, and after approval is secured from both houses of the legislature it will be sent to President Lula, who will have 15 working days to totally or partially sanction or veto the legislation.

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