Gambling operators have until the end of November to submit their interest in obtaining a sports betting license in Brazil.

The Brazilian Ministry of Finance has published the general conditions for the operation of sports betting, including the licensing process, responsible gaming and advertising. Decree 1330 also specifies the rights and obligations of bettors. The guidelines were released after both President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the lower house of parliament approved the legalization of sports betting.

Decree 1330 confirms that foreign companies can operate in Brazil, but they must establish a subsidiary in the country. You must also set up a local customer service center that provides assistance in Portuguese 24 hours a day, seven days a week through free electronic and telephone channels.

There is no limit to the number of concessions issued. Companies interested in obtaining approval must submit a preliminary expression of interest to the Ministry of Finance by November 26th. They must specify the number of brands they want to operate and the type of stores.

Foreign companies must submit an affidavit to establish a company in Brazil in their application.

Focus on sports integrity

Licensees must implement integrity mechanisms and make information available to national or international bodies for monitoring purposes. They must also implement policies to prevent match-fixing, money laundering, terrorist financing and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

With regard to responsible gambling, operators must have internal control mechanisms and systems in place that allow for self-exclusion. Bettors must also be able to set daily limits for playing time, maximum losses and break times.

All advertisements must contain age restriction warnings stating that gambling is prohibited to persons under 18 years of age. Advertising should not contain misleading statements about the chances of winning or portray gambling as socially attractive.

For players, Decree 1330 states that bettors have the right to easily access information about betting. This information should include explanations about placing bets and information about odds. Transactions with cash, credit cards, bank receipts and third-party deposits are prohibited.

A long road to legalization

In September 2023, Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies approved the government’s draft gambling law, which regulates both sports betting and online casinos. The passage of the law represented one of the final hurdles on the way to regulating online gambling in Brazil.

Under the bill agreed in September, an 18% gambling tax will be levied on revenue. Commentators have highlighted that this rises to 31-34% when additional contributions are taken into account. The license fee of AR$30 million (£4.89 million/€5.69 million/$6.10 million) has already been announced.

In 2018, the Federal Senate agreed Federal Law No. 13,756/18which aimed to regulate fixed odds sports betting.

After the law was passed, the government had four years to draft the regulations. But shortly before the finish line, outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro failed to sign the new rules.

But after Bolsonaro’s election defeat, the more industry-friendly Lula took office. After Lula was burned in a gambling scandal in 2007, he was not as vocal a supporter of the industry as before.

Still, many expected the new leader to regulate sports betting to finance social projects. He did so in July when his government announced the prime minister would regulate sports betting nationwide. However, for a prime minister to remain permanent, he must be approved by the country’s Congress within a period of 120 days.