Article: A comprehensive overview of new legislation regulating sports betting in Brazil

Tuesday, 29 August 2023 By Felipe CrisafulliJuliana SantanaRyan Cox

A significant new legislation was passed concerning sports betting in Brazil on 24th of July 2023[1]. The Provisional Measure No. 1,182/2023 (“Sports Betting PM”) considerably modifies the Law No. 13,756/2018[2] (“Sports Betting Law”), which establishes a clear legal framework for businesses offering sports betting in both online and offline markets.

The most notable changes brought by the Sports Betting PM are related to fixed-odds betting. This type of gambling happens when someone places a bet on the outcome of a sport event, at predeterminate odds – i.e., odds that are fixed and determined at the time of placing the bet. These odds are calculated by the bookmaker, which has many experts considering numerous different factors, and reflect the likelihood of a particular outcome occurring. In this sense, such odds normally provide a decent picture to make accurate predictions on a specific result of a match or alike.

Before the Sports Betting PM, fixed-odds bets had already been granted legal status under Law No. 13,756/2018, albeit without a regulatory framework. Despite the clear mandate for the Ministry of Finance to establish regulations by December 2022, no tangible progress has been made to date. As a result, betting companies conducted their operations within Brazil’s borders, albeit without establishing a physical presence there.

Fixed-odds are not just a traditional form of betting but also immensely popular in Brazil[3]. Due to that, the Sports Betting PM is a much needed and welcome development measure.

In general terms, the Brazilian Constitution[4] states that provisional measures have the force of law, are issuable only by the President of the Republic and just in cases of relevance and urgency. Also, Constitution states that those measures must be immediately submitted to the National Congress and that they last for 60 days, with the possibility of a 60-day extension.

So, within such 120-day period, the Sports Betting PM shall come up for consideration by the House of Representatives and the Senate. During the debate process, it will be read in detail and there will be an opportunity for the Congress members to offer further amendments. Once approved, with or without any changes on its content, the Sports Betting PM, as any other Provisional Measure, will be transformed into a definitive Bill that will remain in effect indefinitely. Otherwise, it will lose its effectiveness as of the day of issuance and a legislative decree shall regulate the legal relations arising therefrom.

The Sports Betting PM determines that operating agents, such as the betting companies, must obtain licenses and adhere to specific rules to ensure a secure and equitable betting and gambling environment for users. In a nutshell, the primary objectives of this legislation are to, in line with other countries, generate tax revenue for the Government from those gambling activities and to increase funds allocated to social welfare, public safety, and schools.

Seen in these terms, the new legislation marks a crucial step towards effectively and better regulating sports betting in Brazil. The Sports Betting PM aims to create a safer betting environment by promoting accountability, fairness, transparency, and responsibility within the industry, while also contributing to the country’s revenue and supporting important social causes.