Brazil Closer to Passing Sports Betting Bill

A new piece of legislation may create a favorable and more importantly – legal, sports betting climate in Brazil. Gamers are now anticipating the vote of a bill that is going through the motions and seems likely to pass.

The sports betting industry may see a brave new market open its doors very soon. Brazil is deliberating on the so-called Provisional Measure (PM) 846/2018 which concerns itself with the legalization of online and land-based sports betting facilities.

The first official confirmation about the law came at the ICE Totally Gaming Conference in London in February 2017. Not only that, but the state of Rio Grande do Sol ruled out that gambling is not prohibited and claiming otherwise would be unconstitutional according to the Misdemeanor Act of 1941.

The legislation also focuses on establishing clear-cut taxation rules, indicating how proceedings will be divvied up between government-backed programs, emulating a model that is similar to the one in Switzerland where the government uses gambling funds to supports its pension system.

As a result of the anticipated bill, the Ministry of Finance will step in control of land-based and online fixed-odds sports betting terminals (FOBTs) and help create fair play while maintaining the industry’s highest standards of integrity. A similar move is presently pondered in Israel where the Ministry of Finance is tasked with collecting tax from Israeli poker players who win games abroad.

If the bill passes, the country will have two years to prepare a working regulatory framework to accommodate the upcoming businesses that will be invested in the activity.

Though this is an important turning moment for Brazil, the taxes may be indeed quite stern. According to the mulled legislation, all land-based betting operators will have to allocate as much as 82% of their total handle back as payouts to gamers and also cover the tax on winnings.

They will also need to address an extra tax to the tune of 4% to back certain community and government initiatives and programs, such as sporting facilities, social security and schools. Bookmakers will have to be paying out top dollar to be allowed to operate, which in turn is not a bad idea.

It’s worth remembering that before the sports betting bill, Brazil revisited gambling late in 2015 when Brazil’s Special Commission on National Development gave the go-ahead to a piece of legislation.

Speeding Things Along

Despite the recent developments, there was a chance for no sports betting legislation to reappear until 2019, following a statement by the president of the Chamber of Deputies. However, things have been expedited by vigilant legislators who have brought the bill back in the daily order.

Planning a regulation henceforth will go on two fronts, with creating a licensing body or seeking external help to confirm the legality of the bookmakers. The activity will spread both online and offline, and Brazil will become one of the few places in Latin America where sports betting is fully-legalized and also overseen by the government.

With 210 million people living in the country, the global behemoths of the sports betting industry are likely to start prodding opportunities to enter the market. An industry that is recognized will create one of the world’s largest regulated markets in a heartbeat.

Despite the hefty taxation, Brazil holds the promise to be one of the largest opportunities of the recent years for international brands.

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