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Brazil’s Ministry of Justice investigates football betting deals

| By Richard Mulligan
Brazil’s Ministry of Justice has ordered the nation’s football clubs and federations to submit information about any advertising and sponsorship partnerships with sports betting services over concerns they are illegal.
neymar football shirt

Leading teams such as Flamengo, Palmeiras and Club Athletico Paranaense, the Campeonato Brasileiro league and the Rede Globo de Televisão television network are among the 54 entities that must submit details to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MJSP) within 10 days.

The investigation follows concerns by National Consumer Secretariat (Senacon) that the partnerships were agreed upon without Brazil having yet finalised the laws and standards that will be applied to its pending federal sports betting regime.

Sports betting rules, including a BRL22.2m (£3.6m/€4.2m/$4.4m) licence fee, were published earlier this year. While many hope that operators will be live in time for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a launch date has not yet been announced.

The country’s gaming law (Bill-442/91) secured its approval by Congress in February 2022, but it is still to pass the Senate and receive presidential assent.

The ministry said: “The initiative of the National Consumer Secretariat (Senacon) aims to determine which companies have formalised contracts with the clubs, most of which are headquartered outside Brazil.

“The law that created the [legal fixed-odds betting market] has not yet been regulated and, therefore, Senacon understands that the activity may be being explored without proper authorisation and without any control, inspection or accountability mechanism.”

Rede Globo has already announced betting operators Pixbet and Betnacional as among the sponsors for its coverage of this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Pixbet is also a partner of Brazilian teams Flamengo, Santos, Juventude, Avaí, Goiás and América-MG, while Betnacional is associated with Náutico, Santa Cruz, Sport, Vitória, Vila Nova and XV de Piracicaba.

“Being at the World Cup is a giant step for Pixbet. We are very proud to have reached this level,” said Ernildo Santos, founder of Pixbet, when the Rede Globo partnership was announced earlier this month.

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