Brazil gambling licence hopefuls must apply by late November

By Richard Mulligan

Gambling operators have until late November to submit their interest in obtaining a sports betting licence in Brazil.

The Brazil ministry of finance has published the general conditions for the operation of sports betting, including the licensing process, responsible gaming and advertising. Decree 1330 also specifies the rights and obligations of bettors. The guidelines have been published after both the president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the lower house of parliament gave their assent to legalised sports betting.

Decree 1330 confirms that foreign businesses will be able to operate in Brazil, however they must establish a subsidiary in the country. They must also create a local customer service centre which provides assistance in Portuguese 24 hours a day, seven days a week via free electronic and telephone channels.

There will be no limit to the number of concessions that will be issued. Businesses interested in obtaining authorisation must submit a preliminary expression of interest to the ministry of finance by 26 November. They must indicate the number of brands they intend to operate, as well as the types of operations.

Foreign companies, in their application, must provide a sworn commitment to establish a company in Brazil.

Focus on sports integrity

Licensees will be required to implement integrity mechanisms and make information available to national or international bodies for monitoring purposes. They must also implement policies to prevent match-fixing, money laundering, terrorism financing and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

In terms of responsible gambling, operators must have internal control mechanisms and systems that allow self-exclusion. Bettors must also be able to set daily limits on playing time, maximum losses and pause periods.

All advertisements must include age restriction warnings which show gambling is prohibited for those under 18 years of age. Advertisements should not contain deceptive claims about the odds or present gambling as socially attractive.

For players, decree 1330 states that bettors have the right to easily access information about bets. This information should include explanations of how to place bets and information about odds. Transactions via cash, credit cards, bank slips and third-party deposits are prohibited.

A long road towards legalisation

In September 2023, Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies approved the government’s gambling bill, which regulates both sports betting and online casino. The passage of the bill marked one of the final hurdles in the journey to regulate online gambling in Brazil.

Under the bill agreed in September, a gambling tax of 18% on revenue will be applied. Commentators have highlighted this rises to 31%-34% once additional contributions are accounted for. A R$30m (£4.89m/€5.69m/$6.10m) licence fee has already been announced.

In 2018, the Federal Senate passed Federal Law No 13,756/18, which sought to regulate fixed-odds sports betting.

Following the passage of the law, the government had four years to develop the regulations. However, just short of the finishing line, the outgoing president, Jair Bolsonaro, failed to sign-off on the new rules.

But after Bolsonaro’s loss in the election, the more industry-friendly Lula took office. After being burned in a 2007 gambling scandal Lula had not been as vocal an industry supporter as he was before.

Despite this, many expected the new leader to regulate sports betting in order to help fund social projects. He did so in July when his government promulgated the PM that regulated sports betting nationwide. However, for a PM to remain permanent, it must be approved by the country’s Congress within a 120-day period.

Back to The Top