134 Potential Operators Pay Attention to Sports Betting in Brazil

Sports Betting News: Brazil Sports Betting Market Draws Over 130 Interested Companies
Published on: December 4, 2023, 08:41h.

Last updated on: December 4, 2023, 08:41h.

If the initial reaction is any indication, Brazil’s sports betting market could blow the rest of the markets out of the water. So far, there have been 134 companies that have expressed interest in being part of the industry.

The Christ the Redeemer statue looking over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Christ the Redeemer statue looking over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sports betting legislation has drawn significant international attention. (Image: Pinterest)

On October 27, the Ministry of Finance in Brazil introduced a measure outlining the general conditions for the operation of sports betting in the country. This initiative specified that entities interested in acquiring a license needed to submit a prior expression of interest within 30 days of the announcement.

Reportedly, 134 companies have already completed the required form to operate sports betting, with submissions continuing to flow into the Ministry of Finance even after the initial deadline. The expression of interest is non-binding, implying that not all companies will obtain a license.

Overwhelming Interest

Out of the total submissions, 52 expressions of interest were presented to the Ministry of Finance almost immediately. They were part of a group that submitted their paperwork in the days following the publication of the measure and the approval of the sports betting bill by the Senate’s Economic Affairs Committee (CAE, for its Portuguese acronym).

Subsequently, another 82 were submitted post-CAE approval, bringing the cumulative total to 134. By way of comparison, the US currently boasts 40 licensed sportsbooks with a market worth around $83 billion.

With an estimated initial 5-year license cost of BRL30 million (US$6 million), this could potentially generate nearly BRL4 billion (US$813 million) in government revenue from license fees alone. This is in addition to the tax revenue and additional economic benefits it will receive.

However, not all applicants will secure a license. The official licensing process is yet to start due to continued Senate delays in approving the legislation. Only once it and the Chamber of Deputies approve the final version of the regulations will license scrutiny begin.

Even then, there are hurdles to jump. Notably, as the legislation reads now, an operator will need to have a permanent office in Brazil. It may also need to find a local to onboard as a partner. Of the 134 interested companies, it’s likely that a few won’t meet these and other requirements.

iGaming, Casino Discussion Still in the Works

While awaiting a Senate vote on the sports betting bill, another gambling legislative proposal, Bill 2234/2022, is up for debate. It addresses various aspects, including casinos in resorts, bingo parlors, online gaming and more.

This bill was scheduled for discussion in the Constitution, Justice, and Citizenship Commission (CCJ, for its Portuguese acronym) of the Senate last Wednesday. However, as happened to the sports betting bill, the session concluded before the senators reached the topic.

This legislative proposal has faced delays in the Senate since February 2022, despite receiving initial approval in the Chamber of Deputies in 2018. Senator Davi Alcolumbre, the president of the CCJ, expressed his intention to organize extraordinary sessions this week to address pending agenda items, including Bill 2234/2022.

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