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Brazil ban on celebrity sports betting ads to be considered

| By Kyle Goldsmith
A potential ban in Brazil on celebrities being used in betting advertising is ready to be included on the senate’s agenda in 2024.
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Brazil is expected to finally have a regulated sports betting market in 2024. This is after Brazil’s chamber of deputies voted to approve Bill 3,626/2023 in December. There have been plenty of ups and downs and the topic of advertising is still proving contentious in the country.

Bill 3,405/2023 seeks to prohibit the use of celebrities in sports betting advertising, with Senator Eduardo Girao, who has long been against gambling in Brazil, presenting amendments that would ban anyone considered to have influence being involved in marketing of gambling.

In Girao’s view, Bill 3,405/2023 would protect Brazilian citizens from the risks of gambling harms, both emotional and financial.

Similar advertising bans worldwide

In August 2023, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced a ban on athletes and celebrities in marketing campaigns. The law is set to come into force later this month.

French gambling regulator l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) implemented a ban that prohibits the use of athletes in gambling communications.

Other nations have brought in even more stringent laws. For instance, Belgium introduced a near-total gambling advertising ban, while the Netherlands has prohibited all non-targeted advertising, with targeted marketing only allowed in some contexts.

Other European countries such as Germany and Italy also have extremely strict rules on sports betting advertising. Operators in both countries are pushing for such tight restrictions to be eased in the future.

The next steps in Brazil’s betting journey

Brazil’s route to regulated betting has certainly not been a straightforward one, with numerous twists and turns along the way.

Finally, though, it appears there will be the launch of the market in the latter stages of 2024. The next steps include the ministry of finance publishing regulatory guidelines for operators.

In total, reports suggest more than 130 businesses are interested in applying for a licence.

Neil Montgomery, founder and managing partner of Brazilian law firm Montgomery & Associados, explains what we will see.

“Given the need for the ministry of finance to issue a number of administrative norms (called Portarias, in Portuguese) further regulating the different topics covered by the Bill of Law, with the same also being put to public consultation before they become effective, it is more likely that Brazil will see a regulated market operating in the second half of 2024,” Montgomery says.

“This should give sufficient time for operators that have not yet established themselves in Brazil to set up their own structures (and select their Brazilian partners if required) to do so.

“They will be required to file their applications for a federal licence (with those having submitted their expressions of interest to the ministry of finance under Portaria No 1,330/2023 purportedly to benefit from a faster review of their applications).

“They will also need to satisfy all other legal and regulatory requirements (such as paying the expensive BRL30m licence fee and hiring the necessary members of staff for the key positions laid down by the new legislation).”

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