Date: 13.12.2023

by Mateusz Mazur

Brazilian Senate Passes Sports Betting Bill, Excludes iGaming and Virtual Games

In a landmark decision, the Brazilian Senate recently passed a crucial bill aimed at regulating and taxing sports bets, a move anticipated to significantly boost government revenues.

This development is a pivotal moment for the Brazilian sports betting industry, signaling a potential influx of 1.65 billion reais (approximately $332.27 million) in the next year alone. The bill’s journey is not over yet, as it awaits approval from the lower house before it can be enacted into law.

Exclusion of iGaming and Other Key Amendments

A notable twist in the bill’s passage through the Senate was the exclusion of iGaming. This amendment, spearheaded by Senator Carlos Portinho, garnered 37 votes in favor and 27 against, marking a decisive stance on the future direction of online gaming in Brazil. Furthermore, the Senate voted to exclude virtual games and sports betting terminals from the bill, reshaping the landscape of digital gambling in the country.

However, an attempt to ban sports betting advertising in stadiums did not pass, leaving the door open for potential marketing avenues for betting companies in these highly visible public spaces.

Taxation and Licensing: A New Framework for Betting Companies

The proposed bill outlines a tax structure for online betting companies, with a 12% revenue tax. Additionally, a 15% tax on winnings paid to gamblers is included, suggesting a more robust approach to regulating the financial aspects of sports betting.

A critical component of this legislation is the requirement for betting companies to acquire a license worth 30 million reais (around $6.04 million) to operate legally in Brazil. This licensing fee is a substantial entry barrier, potentially shaping the competitive landscape of the sports betting market in Brazil.

Our Comment on the Article

The Brazilian Senate’s move to regulate and tax sports betting is a clear indication of the country’s recognition of the industry’s financial potential. By excluding iGaming and other digital betting formats, the Senate seems to be taking a cautious approach, focusing on more traditional forms of sports betting.

This decision could be seen as a way to safeguard against the challenges and complexities associated with regulating the rapidly evolving digital gambling sector.

The imposed tax rates and licensing requirements indicate a firm stance towards creating a regulated, sustainable, and profitable betting environment. While this may limit the number of operators who can feasibly enter the market, it also promises a more controlled and reliable betting landscape for Brazilian bettors.

In essence, the Brazilian Senate is not just opening a new revenue stream for the government; it is setting the stage for a more structured and potentially thriving sports betting industry. How this will impact the future of online gaming and digital betting in Brazil remains a fascinating aspect to watch as the bill moves to the lower house for further deliberation.