Sports Betting Operators Called to Public Government Meeting in Brazil

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Posted on: March 21, 2023, 09:36h. 

Last updated on: March 21, 2023, 11:41h.

In light of the fact that Brazil’s finance minister is pushing for a tax plan on sports betting, a federal lawmaker thinks it’s time to sit down with the operators. Deputy Junio Mano has filed a motion that could slow down the government’s plans to find new sources of money.

The Brazilian flag flies in front of a beach
The Brazilian flag flies in front of a beach. Regulated sports betting discussions continue to advance, as the talk of a new tax strategy emerges. (Image: Getty Images)

Mano delivered his motion to the Finance and Taxation Commission, according to Games Magazine Brazil. The goal is to have a roundtable discussion with key government officials and sportsbooks to talk about Finance Minister Fernando Haddad’s call to have a tax plan in place by the end of this month.

Currently, sports betting isn’t regulated at the federal level in Brazil, and taxing an unregulated commercial activity would be difficult. Mano recognizes that there’s a lot of money at stake, and wants legislators and operators to be part of the discussion that introduces taxes.

Sportsbooks Given Chance to Speak

The consensus in Brazil is that sportsbooks are making millions of dollars without giving anything to the government. They provide their services in the country, taking wagers and moving the profits offshore.

This, according to Haddad, is “illegal” and invites tax evasion. Brazil’s lawmakers have had several years to push through legislation to regulate the industry, and have chosen not to do so. This has led to individual states like Rio de Janeiro establishing their own regulatory frameworks.

That’s changing, and a regulated industry is coming. To facilitate it, Mano believes it’s time to sit down with key lawmakers and sportsbooks. He’s asking that several government officials, including Haddad and Undersecretary of Economic Reforms Marcos Barbosa Pinto, participate in the discussion.

Mano also wants to include sportsbooks that have already made their presence in Brazil known in the country. These include Bet365, Sportingbets, and Pixbet. The group also includes Alexandre Fonseca of Betano, who serves as the VP of Brazil’s National Association of Gaming and Lotteries.

The deputy explained in his request that sports betting and gaming operators play an important role in the country. Although regulations are missing, they use some of the revenue they generate to sponsor sports clubs.

This creates a win-win for both. The club receives funds with which to improve its activity, and the operator receives advertising and marketing.

Mano doesn’t want any surprises when Haddad presents his tax plan. Therefore, he believes these key entities need to see it first. While he didn’t explain what he expected from the dialogue, the global gaming industry has already seen what happens when unilateral tax plans are attempted.

As of press time, there was no indication that Mano’s request had been approved.

Brazil’s Regulated Gaming Takes Shape

The injection of resources for the government and the promotion of responsible gaming are two of the primary benefits that arise from the regulation of gambling in Brazil. As such, and with the country on the verge of accepting nationwide gambling policies, new industry groups are emerging to shape the future.

There have been three new organizations developed recently to boost business in the industry. The first is the National Association of Games and Lotteries, which held its inauguration on March 15. With participation from gaming operators, it hopes to have a dedicated role in the development of government gambling policies.

In addition, since the beginning of March, the Brazilian Institute of Responsible Gaming and the Brazilian Association of Integrity have emerged. The former, which operators launched a week ago, will attempt to shape public perception of gambling.

The latter was formed two weeks ago and includes Genius Sports, Entain, and others. They will focus on integrity and transparency in sports.


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