Brazilian Senate Halts Talks on Sports Betting and iGaming

The Brazilian Senate once again postponed a vote on a sports betting and iGaming bill, causing further delays in the legislative process. The bill was set to regulate the fixed-odds sports betting market and online casinos, but the Senate decided to table the discussion, pushing back the vote.

The main point of contention revolves around the inclusion of online casinos in the bill, with opposition senators arguing that the proposed legislation lacks proper regulation for the online casino sector. Senator Ângelo Coronel, the bill’s rapporteur, believes that the iGaming segment holds significant potential for contributing to the government’s revenue and should not be excluded. The Ministry of Finance estimates that the proposed legislation could generate approximately R$2 billion for the government in 2024.

The vote was called off at the request of the opposition, and no specific date for resuming the voting process has been set. This delay is causing apprehension within the government, as the bill is a key priority for the economic team in their efforts to boost revenue in 2024.

Coronel has introduced several modifications to the proposal, including a reduction in the tax on sports betting companies from 18% to 12% and a 15% personal income tax on bettors’ net winnings. The bill also outlines the establishment of advertising regulations within the sports betting and iGaming sectors, with the Ministry of Finance assuming the responsibility of supervising all betting and gambling activities.

The legislative discussions resurfaced in Congress amid a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry that is scrutinizing the sports betting market and investigating evidence of companies in the gaming sector manipulating soccer match outcomes. The inquiry continues, and more names of participants are expected to surface in the coming weeks.

The bill’s fate remains uncertain, with the Senate yet to set a date for the resumption of the voting process. However, the government and proponents of the bill are hopeful that progress will be made to advance the regulation of the sports betting and iGaming sectors in Brazil.