Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies Approves Sports Betting Bill
The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies approved a measure on Tuesday which takes the nation one step closer to legalized sports betting. Privisional Measure 846/2018 would allow land-based and online sports betting “in a competitive environment.”
PM 486 is normally a lottery bill to set down how lottery revenues are divided among various social, cultural, and public security programs. The bill includes the sports wagering measures as a way to expand legal gambling in Brazil.
The vote in Brazil’s lower house of parliament was nearly unanimous. Only Social Christian Party MP Gilberto Nascimento voted against PM 486. In debate before the vote, Nascimento doubted the wisdom of a “lottery through computers”.
In the floor debate, the Social Christian Party MP said legalized sports betting would “create a generation of addicts to generate a few million reals more for the public safety fund?”
Next Step for PM 486
The Brazilian National Senate must approve PM 486 by November 28 if it is to become law. That leaves a small window if sports betting’s proponents are to see their form of gaming approved. Brazilians love to bet on sports, but the practice long has been banned in the country.
If the bill is passed by the Senate, then the Ministry of Finance would have up to 2 years to develop the necessary betting regulations and issue licenses to approve sports betting operators. It is uncertain what kinds of operators might be approved, though land-based sportsbooks, bookmaker sites, online sports betting exchanges, sports betting apps, and daily fantasy sports companies typically are legalized when such bills pass in other countries.
Brazil’s Sports Betting Laws
PM 486 set down parameters for the return-to-player on sports betting. Land-based sportsbooks must pay out a minimum of 80% of the sports betting handle to bettors. Operators’ gross revenue limit is capped at 14%, while the remaining funds go to the various government-funded projects.
Online sports betting operators would have a smaller margin, due to lower overhead costs. Online operators must pay back 89% of the betting action to customers, while its operator revenue would be capped at 8%. The remain 3% would go to government projects.
Sergio Moro Urges Haste
The mood in the Senate appears to be positive for passing the measure, mainly because the sports betting provisions are attached to the lottery bill. Incoming Minister of Justice Sergio Moro said early in November that it is “very important” for the Senate to pass the lottery measure, because Brazil’s security forces need the additional lottery funding.
The online lottery service appears to have considerable public support, as the country has had 413,000 registrations for online sports betting accounts so far. Brazil’s Loterias Caixa, the largest online Brazilian lottery vendor, reported sales of US$12.3 million since the launch of online lotto sales in August.
Gilson Braga on Lottery Betting
That total represents 1.41% of all lottery sales in the 3 months since. Lottery officials expect that number to grow if the next lottery bill is passed. Gilson Braga, the National Superintendent of Lotteries, said of the reported totals, “We are quite satisfied with these first three months of operation.”