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Caesars-licensee BIG Brazil nearing lottery accreditation in Rio de Janeiro

| By Kyle Goldsmith
BIG Brazil, a licensee of Caesars Sportsbook, has announced it will look to achieve accreditation with the Rio de Janeiro State Lottery (Loterj).

André Feldman, president of BIG Brazil International Games, visited Loterj president Hazenclever Lopes Cançado on Thursday. While declaring his interest in operating sports betting with Caesars in Brazil, Feldman also requested information on becoming accredited by the Loterj to offer lottery in Rio de Janeiro.

In February 2023, BIG Brazil International Games partnered with Caesars to introduce sports betting in Brazil when legalised. After Bill 3,626/2023 was approved in December, sports betting is expected to be regulated by late 2024.

“Expectations are high,” Feldman said. “We intend to enter the Caesars Sportsbook brand in Brazil, starting in Rio de Janeiro. We are already working on composing all the technical documentation to, in the next few days, officially enter into the Loterj accreditation.”

Cançado added: “We are very happy with the decision of Caesars Group and BIG Brazil to invest in this betting market in the state of Rio de Janeiro.”

Caesars the latest to make Brazil move

Despite sports betting not being legal in Brazil yet, a number of betting companies have made moves into the country.

In February 2023, NeoGames and Intralot do Brasil announced the launch of LotoMinas. That was the first regulated ilottery and online sports betting solution for Brazilian state Minas Gerais’ official lottery, Loteria Mineira.

Loterj became the first state lottery in Brazil to issue a tender for sports betting. It did so in June 2023, awarding a five-year tender to São Paulo-based Rede Loto. This will allow it to offer online sports wagering in the country in preparation of federal regulation.

In September, sportsbook technology provider OpenBet teamed up with Play7.Bet to provide technology to power its retail and online sports betting offering in Brazil.

Sports sponsorships have also been a big feature of operators’ plans in Brazil. For instance, Flutter Entertainment-owned Betfair entered into a partnership with Cruzeiro, a Brazilian football club.

Blaze and Parimatch also announced kit sponsorships of Brazilian football clubs, partnering with Atlético Clube Goianiense and Botafogo respectively.

Brazil’s betting journey

The course to legalised sports betting in Brazil has been an up-and-down journey. However, it does finally look to be in the final phases.

Brazil’s chamber of deputies voted on 21 December to approve Bill 3,626/2023 and regulate sports betting.

igaming was also included in the bill after it was previously removed by the senate.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed the bill into law on 30 December. This ratified a new regulatory framework for sports betting and igaming.

Will there be betting in Brazil in 2024?

The winding nature of the journey towards Brazil’s sports betting legalisation has left some a little hesitant over how smooth the final stages of the process will be.

However, Neil Montgomery, founder and managing partner of Brazilian law firm Montgomery & Associados, believes regulation will get over the line by the latter stages of 2024.

“Given the need for the ministry of finance to issue a number of administrative norms 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 told iGB.

Brazilian regulators still have issues to iron out, however. One such issue is advertising. A potential ban in Brazil on celebrities being used in betting advertising is ready to be included on the senate’s agenda in 2024.

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

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