Brazil’s Ministry of Finance has released a comprehensive set of requirements for sportsbook operators intending to enter the regulated market after its establishment. All interested operators must express their intent within 30 days to expedite the process. The new regulatory framework is now under Senate review after approval in the lower house earlier this year.
Players Will Receive Vastly Improved Protections
The Ministry of Finance’s Ordinance No. 1,330 outlines general rules for sportsbook operators, focusing on several crucial aspects, including responsible gambling, payment procedures, and marketing standards. Companies wishing to operate legally in the country must obtain a grant set at BRL30 million ($6 million), valid for three years.
One notable requirement is the prohibition of granting concessions to companies with shareholders, directors, and corporate members who are athletes, sporting officials, or directors of national sports teams. This move aims to mitigate conflicts of interest, particularly after the soccer match-fixing scandal that recently impacted Brazilian sports.
To promote responsible gambling, operators must restrict access to their platforms for individuals under 18. They must also implement safer gambling tools, including daily time limits, loss limits, self-exclusion options, and time-out periods. These measures aim to protect Brazilian consumers, curb addiction rates, and promote safer gambling practices.
The Bill’s Financial Aspect Remains Hotly Contested
The document also introduces strict advertising regulations, especially near schools and universities. Promotional material in such educational settings cannot suggest that gambling leads to personal success or improved financial conditions. Operators are not allowed to let players use third-party payment methods, and all industry advertising must be based on social responsibility and awareness, carrying the message “Play Responsibly.”
Despite the substantial improvements to player safety, the new legislation faces significant criticism regarding its taxation updates. The Brazilian Institute of Responsible Gaming spoke out against the planned tax increase of 18%, arguing it could hinder Brazil’s nascent sports betting industry, hampering its growth and competitiveness with gray market operators. Such a tax burden could significantly hurt the regulated sector, causing reduced investments in essential fields.
Since the document is a government ordinance, the rules have immediate effect, leaving little room for further discussion. Overall, Ordinance No. 1,330 represents a significant leap forward in Brazil’s efforts to impose order on its gambling industry. However, the country must demonstrate its ability and willingness to enforce its new rules, ensuring violators and illegal operators receive swift punishments.