Brazil opens online, land-based sports betting consultation


brazil-online-sports-betting-public-consultationBrazil’s legal sports betting hopes took another step toward reality after the government launched a public consultation on how to craft its wagering rules.

On Monday, Brazil’s Economic Ministry published an official notice of an electronic public consultation on how best to set up a regulated online and land-based fixed-odds sports betting market. The consultation, which runs until August 31, seeks input on seven specific areas of wagering regulations.

First, a little background. Last December, Brazil’s former president signed his country’s new sports betting legislation into law. The law gave the government two years in which to craft sports betting regulations, while remaining vague on whether it was planning a single-license betting monopoly or a “competitive environment” in which all qualified applicants could obtain betting licenses.

That issue forms one of the consultation’s seven questions, namely, whether a “concession or permit” model would make Brazil’s betting market “more attractive.” If respondents select the ‘permit’ model, the government wants to know “what would be the minimum number of companies” and respondents must “justify” their answer to that question.

The other questions involve which government agency or regulatory body is best suited to oversee the new betting market, whether the proposed tax and customer payout rates are “appropriate,” how the government should deal with unauthorized competition to Brazil-licensed operators, as well as seeking general suggestions and fixes to the legislation as written, or changes to other Brazilian laws that might be required.

Brazil is rightly considered the great white whale of Latin America’s gambling markets, given its 212m residents. A recent GamblingCompliance report estimated that a mature Brazilian online and land-based betting market could generate annual revenue of $1b or up to $1.56b in a ‘best case’ scenario, with online betting accounting for up to 70% of the market.

The country’s citizens appear up for the challenge. In June, an Ipsos ‘Global Views on Vices’ survey found 64% of Brazilians were in favor of legal online betting and gambling versus 25% who were opposed. Around 32% of Brazilians found online betting and gambling to be ‘morally acceptable in moderation,’ slightly higher than the global average of 28%.