A nationwide Brazilian sports betting market is closer than ever before, with the final legislation approved by the Chamber of Deputies yesterday and now awaiting presidential sign-off.

The Brazilian President, Lula da Silva, introduced Bill PL3626/23 in July 2023 with the primary aim of legalising country-wide sports betting. A previous attempt at regulating the market under former President Jair Bolsonaro had failed after the leader refused to sign legislation.

However, Silva’s legislation would not experience smooth passage. After initial approval by the Chamber of Deputies the Bill faced an inconclusive Senate, which could not agree on the inclusion of legalising online casino, opposed by the Liberal Party.

As a result, the Bill returned to the Chamber of Deputies – the lower house – but has now finally been approved by policymakers. The only hurdle left is the possibility Silva will refuse to sign the Bill as his predecessor did, but the left-leaning politician has hinted at supporting betting regulation in the past.

The outcome has understandably been welcomed by the gambling sector. On LinkedIn, CEO of KTO Group, Andreas Bardun, said: “KTO is excited to announce that the long-awaited regulation of the Brazilian market for online sportsbooks and casinos has been successfully implemented. 

“This milestone reflects a well-executed regulatory framework that effectively addresses key concerns within the industry. We are extremely pleased with the outcome and commend the authorities for their diligent efforts in achieving this.”

However, legislation of Brazilian sports betting of course means a great deal to many other stakeholders beyond just betting operators and suppliers themselves, notably sports clubs and associations. 

Notable provisions on marketing include a requirement that advertising must ‘emphasise responsible gambling and include warnings about its potential harm. Advertising that portrays gambling as socially attractive is prohibited’.

However, positive news for sports clubs earlier this month, from a commercial standpoint at least, saw both Senators and Deputies grant their approval for sports clubs to sign sponsorship deals with betting companies.

Meanwhile, on sports integrity, the final legislation prohibits betting among individuals under 18, those diagnosed with gambling disorders, anyone with influence over sporting events or the gaming platform, and key sports personnel such as directors, coaches, referees, agents, and athletes from participating in betting activities.

Khalid Ali, CEO of the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), commented: “This is an historic moment for sports betting in Brazil and is a major step forward in the fight against match-fixing. IBIA welcomes the adoption of specific betting integrity provisions in the law, which the association has been campaigning for since discussions on regulating sports betting began in 2018.

“A number of Brazilian market focused operators have already joined IBIA, and we look forward to engaging with other operators intent on offering well-protected sports betting products to Brazilian consumers via IBIA’s world leading integrity network.”

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