As we begin our road to ICE 2024, Brazil remained a prominent market this year for LatAm, particularly after sports betting was finally legalised in July after the president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, signed Provisional Measure (PM) No 1,182.
This brought an end to years (and years) of delays. However, uncertainty remained as the PM still needed to be okayed by Brazil’s National Congress within 120 days.
The PM itself came mired in controversy. Its signing meant that the 2018 sports betting measures implemented in Law No 13,756 were also passed – but with a number of amendments.
Naturally, the industry wasn’t too pleased with these developments. Luiz Felipe Maia, founding partner of Brazilian law firm Maia Yoshiyasu Advogados, told iGB that reactions to the PM were “99% negative”, due to “the taxation, because of the restrictions – but mostly because of the taxation”.
In August, iGB partnered with Sportingtech to host a webinar on Brazil’s sports betting journey throughout the years.
Twists and turns
Another twist came in September, when Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies approved Bill 3,626/2023. This bill amended the PM signed by da Silva in July. However, it kept the 18% tax rate on revenue. But the most important difference between the PM and Bill 3,626/2023 was the legalisation of online casino alongside sports betting.
In October, Brazil’s ministry of finance published the general conditions for sports betting operations in Decree 1330. The decree outlined what operators must do to gain a sports betting licence in Brazil.
It clarified that foreign businesses would be allowed to operate in the country if they establish a subsidiary in Brazil. It also outlined that operators must create a local customer service centre that provides 24/7 assistance in Portuguese.
These included an increase in revenue tax from 16% to 18% and strict rules for marketing. That was struck down however, when a reduced 12% tax rate was confirmed by the country’s Economic Affairs Commission (CAE) on 22 November.
In approving Bill 3,626/2023 with a fresh round of amendments, we’ll now see sports betting, alongside igaming, go to the Senate for approval on the week of 27 November.
Covering Brazil: iGB dedicated to keeping you updated
With final regulatory approval now approaching, we’ve documented the progression of sports betting well on iGB and it will no doubt be a key topic at ICE 2024.
The topic was discussed at length on our World Series of Politics podcast throughout the year. In May, hosts Brandt Iden and Brendan Bussman were joined by Hugo Baungartner to discuss how Brazil had gotten to the point of almost passing sports betting.
The following month, the hosts dissected the format of the legislation. In August, Baungartner rejoined the podcast alongside Neil Montgomery to get into the nitty gritty of what Brazil’s sports betting market has in store.
In addition, the first edition of iGB and EveryMatrix’s Slot Trumps player behaviour report focused on Brazil.
The road to ICE 2024: a wider look at LatAm
Naturally, thanks to the myriad of developments in the region, LatAm attracted the attention of operators worldwide throughout 2023. During the presentation for Entain’s Q2 and H1 results, CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen said the company was “ready” for Brazil to go live.
Off the back of this, she added that Entain was “well placed to drive further growth in newly regulated markets”. Entain acquired local sports media leader 365scores in April.
In October, Peru’s ministry of foreign trade and tourism approved sports betting and igaming regulations in the country. The regulations are set to go into effect on 9 February 2024. Those operating in Peru’s market will have one month to apply for a licence.
Over in Colombia, gaming regulator Coljuegos launched a bid to become the country’s advertising regulator. This took the form of a bill, which was submitted to Colombia’s federal government. If passed, Coljuegos would allow operators to have relationships with sports teams, but only if the operator’s advertising investment is not exceeded.
Sports teams would only be allowed to partner with operators regulated by Coljuegos.
Developments continued in Colombia after Stake.com acquired Betfair Colombia in November. Brais Pena, chief strategy officer at Easygo – the founder of Stake.com – said he saw the Colombian market as a “pivotal entry point” for LatAm expansion.
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