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Angel Hristov December 13, 2023 2 min read
Brazil: Senate Greenlights Sports Betting, Turns Down iGaming
The current version of the bill also agreed to reject an earlier tax hike proposal
Brazil’s Senate has okayed regulated sports betting but did not approve iGaming. While the Senate approved the amendments to Bill 3,626/2023, online gambling did not appear on the bill.
Originally supposed to take place in November, the vote was postponed on several occasions. Proposed by Senator Angelo Coronel, the approved version of the bill included changes outlined in several rounds of amendments.
One of the final and most notable amendments was introduced by Senator Carlos Portinho and effectively ousted iGaming from the measure. While the Senate was divided on the matter, the amendment passed with 37 votes in favor of removing iGaming against 27 votes in favor of iGaming.
Portinho remained firmly opposed to the concept of online casino, highlighting its manipulative practices and ludicrous profits.
In addition to the exclusion of iGaming, the final round of amendments also saw virtual games and sports betting terminals removed from the bill. Senators also rejected a proposed ban on gambling sponsorship in sports.
The current version of the bill also agreed to reject an earlier tax hike proposal. As a result, operators will only have to pay a 12% revenue tax, instead of 18%. Bettors, meanwhile, will have a 15% tax on their winnings.
The Bill Needs to Secure a Few More Approvals
Despite the significant step, regulated sports betting still has some way to go before becoming a reality in Brazil. Bill 3,626/2023 will now return to the Chamber of Deputies for further approvals. It is not certain whether representatives will get to vote on the bill before the Christmas recess.
If the bill secures this approval, it will go to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva who will be responsible for signing it into law. The current president may thus get the chance to succeed where his predecessor failed and usher in an era of sports betting in Brazil.
Sports betting was legalized in Brazil a few years ago but never regulated. While many are prepared to welcome the new changes and open a new chapter for Brazilian sports in 2024, some believe that the exclusion of iGaming from the measure is suboptimal. Proponents of online gambling argue that this decision might be a Christmas present to the black market operators who will get to continue offering their products without competition.