The future of sports betting in Brazil has become a little clearer this week, following the signing by the outgoing President Michel Temer of a new bill, and legal experts CMS have been assessing how the bill will shape the new industry in South America’s largest nation.
Bill MP-846 is primarily aimed at restructuring the framework of Brazil’s existing lottery regulations, but it also lays the groundwork for a licensed sports betting framework.
In its assessment of the future of Brazilian sports betting, CMS says that although gambling in the country has been restricted to the state-run lottery and horse racing, there has been a significant growth in the popularity of online sports betting, offered by international companies, and while offering such betting services to Brazilian citizens is illegal, no enforcement action has been taken.
Another key factor in the changing sports betting landscape in Brazil is the desire of the new government to fill a hole in its budget, and this had led the authorities to re-examine their traditional stance on gambling, potentially opening the way to online and retail sports betting.
It isn’t yet clear, however, how the sports betting framework will be developed. CMS points out that while the recently enacted bill contains a lot of detail on the fiscal framework, many details will be left to the Ministry of Finance to decide upon, and there are potential political problems given the nature of the new Bosonaro-led government’s political constituency:
“Whilst the Ministry of Finance is generally expected to be economically liberal, and the incoming government will face the same budget pressures as the current one, Bolsonaro was elected with strong support from evangelical Christians and other social conservatives, who may resist gambling liberalization.”
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