Brazil Hits a Landmark in its Progress Towards Regulated Sports Betting

Brazil has reached a major milestone in its journey towards legalized sports betting with the signing of Bill PL3626/23 by President Luiz Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva. The new legislation sets the stage for the establishment of a federal sports wagering and iGaming market, with hopes for an official launch in 2024.

The road to this achievement was not an easy one. The bill underwent thorough evaluation in Brazil’s Senate Committees, with over 100 amendments made before gaining federal approval. The legislation faced a controversial stalemate over the authorization of online casino operations, but a final session on December 22 saw the Chamber of Deputies voting overwhelmingly in favor (261 in favor and 120 against), paving the way for the legislative framework for iGaming in the country.

Despite President Lula’s endorsement, he introduced vetoes on certain aspects of the legislation, particularly regarding tax exemptions for betting prizes up to BRL 2,112 ($432). The National Congress will review these objections and make a decision on whether to validate or overrule the vetoes. Taxation also emerged as a contentious topic, with the final draft of the bill outlining a 12% tax on licensed operators and a 15% tax on player prizes. Businesses seeking a federal license will need to pay BRL 30 million ($6.13 million) and meet stringent eligibility criteria.

The new legislation has generated significant interest from businesses, with 134 expressing interest in joining Brazil’s online gambling market. This demonstrates the substantial anticipation and momentum in the sector. However, while this development is a significant milestone, it is vital for the local regulator to remain proactive in ensuring a fair and sustainable business environment that prioritizes customer safety. The extra funds generated from taxation will be directed towards government initiatives focused on sports, education, and community development.