Brazil Gives Final Approval To Regulate Online Gambling

Brazil’s chamber of deputies has voted in favour of Bill 3,626/2023, which aims to regulate sports betting. The bill now includes provisions for online gambling, reinstated after being initially removed by the senate. This development marks the final approval needed for the regulation of the online gambling market in Brazil, with implementation expected in 2024.

The approval process involved a vote in the chamber of deputies following the senate’s endorsement of Bill 3,626/2023 on December 12. Now that the chamber of deputies has given its approval, the bill will proceed to the office of President Luiz Inácio da Silva.

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Reintroduction Of Online Casinos

The bill for online gambling in Brazil had previously received approval from the chamber of deputies in September. Due to modifications made by the senate last week, a subsequent vote was necessary to incorporate these changes. The senate’s amendments, presented by Senator Angelo Coronel on December 12, included the reintroduction of online casino gambling — in addition to sports betting. The previous bill faced resistance in the senate, resulting in the exclusion of not only online casino gambling, virtual games and sports betting shops. Additionally, a proposed amendment prohibiting advertising in sports stadiums was rejected. These topics, however, weren’t the only ones creating tension.

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Debate About Gambling Taxes

In recent months there has been a lot of debate about taxes. In yesterday’s vote, the recommendations from the Economic Affairs Commission on November 22 were finally accepted. This means that the gross gaming revenue (GGR) will be subject to a 12% tax instead of the initially proposed percentage of 18%. The taxation on bettors’ winnings has also been adjusted, with bettors now being taxed annually at a 15% rate on net winnings. This rate surpasses the exemption threshold of R$ 2,112 (685,98 NZ$). Licensees entering the market will be required to pay an initial fee of up to R$ 30 million (9,7m NZ$), giving them the right to operate in the country with up to five different brands.

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The Long And Winding Road To Legalisation

Brazil’s legalised sports betting and casino story has been a long and winding one. The final phase began unfolding in May of this year when the Brazilian government unveiled PM 1,182, which specifically aimed at regulating sports betting. President Lula da Silva gave his approval, which was later officially enacted into law in July. However, the initial reception of the PM was criticised, notably due to concerns regarding the 18% tax rate, restrictions on advertising, and the unclear regulatory framework for payments.

As a result, Bill 3,626/2023 was introduced as a response to the different challenges. This bill, introduced after initial legal measures, brought about significant modifications. The most noteworthy change was support for legalisation of online casinos in addition to sports betting. The chamber of deputies gave its approval to these changes in September.

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