Brazilian Senate Delays Discussion on Sports Betting and iGaming

Posted on: November 30, 2023, 06:44h. 

Last updated on: November 30, 2023, 06:44h.

The Brazilian Senate has once again delayed a vote on a sports betting and iGaming bill, causing further setback to the legislative process.

The Brazil Senate chamber sits empty
The Brazil Senate chamber sits almost empty. It has once again postponed a vote on sports betting legislation. (Image: Brazil Senate)

Brazil’s Senate plenary was scheduled to vote on a bill to regulate the fixed-odds sports betting market and online casinos on Wednesday. However, the discussion has been tabled again, providing no clarity on the new voting date.

Anti-Gambling Senators Delay Progress

The main contention revolves around the inclusion of online casinos in the bill, drawing criticism from opposition senators over the lack of proper regulation and clear guidelines for supervision of online gambling.

Senator Ângelo Coronel, the bill’s rapporteur, argues that the iGaming sector holds significant revenue potential for the government and should not be excluded. The Ministry of Finance estimates that the proposed legislation could generate about R$2 billion (US$407.6 million) for the government in 2024.

Senator Veneziano Vital do Rêgo presided over the session in the absence of Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco, who is currently in Dubai for COP 28 (United Nations Conference on Climate Change). The opposition’s request led to the vote being called off, with no specific date for resuming the process.

This delay is causing concern within the government, as the bill is a key priority for the economic team striving to boost revenue in 2024.

More Debate Ahead

The bill proposes a 12% tax on sports betting companies, down from the previous 18%. Additionally, it suggests a 15% personal income tax on bettors’ net winnings, applicable only to earnings surpassing the exemption line of BRL2,112 (US$430).

Furthermore, the project outlines advertising regulations within the sports betting and iGaming sectors, overseen by the Ministry of Finance responsible for supervising all betting and gambling activities.

The legislative discussions resurfaced amid a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry scrutinizing the sports betting market, following investigations revealing match manipulation by gaming sector companies.

The inquiry and Brazilian authorities’ investigation continue, with several soccer players already identified as participants, and more names expected to surface in the coming weeks.

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