Credit cards and crypto banned under Brazil payment rules

By Marese OHagan

Senior Reporter

  • Article summary

Operators will not be allowed to accept credit card or cryptocurrency payments from bettors under the new payment rules established for Brazil's regulating igaming and sports betting market.

The Regulatory Policy of the Prizes and Betting Secretariat (SPA) and the ministry of finance published the new rules in the country’s Official Diary of the Union today (18 April). This took the form of Normative Ordinance No 615.

This aligns with the first stage of the four-part regulation rollout announced by the ministry of finance last week. This refers to implementing Bill 3,626, also known as Law 14,790, which was ratified by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in December 2023. This first stage will run until the end of April and see payment, technical and security regulations published.

The rules contain a number of stipulations that bettors and operators must follow to operate in Brazil’s online gaming and sports betting market.

It states that payments in the form of credit cards, cryptocurrency, cash, payment slips or cheques are prohibited.

Bets, withdrawals and payouts can only be carried out through electronic transfer between operators’ and bettors’ accounts. Accounts must be authorised by the Central Bank of Brazil.

Operators must also not accept payments from an account not registered with the bettor or transfers from third parties.

The rules also prohibit acting as an intermediary between players and operators. However, institutions authorised by the Central Bank of Brazil are permitted to offer transactional accounts on the behalf of operators under certain circumstances – for example, to allow bettors to receive the prize amount owed to them.

Players will receive prize payments on winning bets within 120 minutes.

Making players aware of their betting habits

Operators must also provide players with a virtual account, in which certain details about their betting habits are presented. This is with the aim of allowing players to better manage their financial and betting information.

The virtual accounts will display the player’s betting history over the previous 36 months, the total value of open bets and their financial balance. Operators are banned from granting remuneration on any accounts owned by the player.

In addition, operators will be responsible for managing liquidity risks. This will include establishing a financial reserve at a minimum amount of R$5m (£765,915/€895,350/$953,597). The reserve must be held at a financial institution authorised by the Central Bank of Brazil in the form of federal public bonds. The reserve must be held separately to other proprietary accounts.

The new rules take effect from today.

Brazil’s regulating market heating up

This is the latest development as Brazil moves to fully regulate its igaming and sports betting market.

The next stage in the ministry of finance’s strategy is for the SPA to publish its fraud policies. This will consist of anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing rules, as well as rules regarding the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

During stage three, SPA will publish procedures for monitoring gambling ads and technical and security requirements for igaming. Stage four will see procedures published on allocating industry contributions to socially responsible causes. This final stage will wrap up at the end of July.

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