The Brazilian Economic Ministry has launched a public consultation that could result in a fast-tracking of legislation for the regulation of sports betting in the country.
The consultation, which has been announced this week, is part of the Ministry’s review of legislative features of Bill MP-846, which has already been conditionally approved by the legislature, and which outlines the creation of a federal framework for both land-based and online gambling in Brazil.
The bill was signed by the outgoing President Michel Temer at the end of 2018 and was primarily focused on the reorganisation of the distribution of revenue from the national lottery, which is overseen by the state bank, CAIXA. But the bill also contained provisions that would allow the Congress of Brazil to institute laws regulating sports betting in the country.
With that mandate, lawmakers and stakeholders have until the end of 2020 to create the country’s first ever federal sports betting regulatory system, which would also have to be re-approved by the Congress, and the newly announced consultation is the first step in that process.
The consultation process will be open until the end of August and seeks opinions on a range of issues including the operation of competition, models of regulation, market size, the number of licensees and the standards that should be enforced in a sports betting industry.
One vital part of the process will involve the Economic Ministry in weighing up alternative regulatory models, with the main options being a ‘permit’ based framework or one based on ‘concessions’. The latter would involve the Brazilian authorities asking potential licensees to bid for a licence, while the permit model would offer an open structure for qualifying operators.
The consultation process is also expected to provide evidence and guidance on which government body or organisation is best placed to oversee the reorganised gambling marketplace, against the embarrassing backdrop of the botched sale of the state-owned scratch card operator, LOTEX.