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Brazil Ready for Sports Betting in 2024 as President Lula Signs Law

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2024-01-05

Brazil Ready for Sports Betting in 2024 as President Lula Signs Law

After waiting since 2018, Brazil’s bettors can now look forward to legal sports betting in 2024. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Ready to rumble

Brazil is finally primed and ready to launch legal sports betting in 2024 after President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed off the country’s Fixed-Odds Betting Law.

Law firm Bichara e Motta Advogados took to X on Tuesday to share news of President Lula’s sanctioning of the law on December 30.

The President’s signature was the last hurdle for Bill PL3626/23 to clear, despite a late amendment to the legislation’s wording to include a tax on winnings. This leaves Brazil’s Ministry of Finance six months to finalize regulation of the country’s betting market.

While sports betting is not completely illegal in Brazil, the legalization related to it has stagnated, leaving the vertical in a significantly undeveloped, unclear state. The clarity of the new bill will likely entice major sportsbooks like FanDuel and DraftKings to make a play to enter the market.

Long road to legality

If bettors in Kentucky and North Carolina are frustrated how long it’s taking for legislators to get legal sports betting across the line in their states, they might take solace in the fact the process in Brazil has been even more protracted and convoluted.

Former president Michel Temer created the country’s “Betting Law,” as it is referred to, as far back as 2018. President Lula’s immediate predecessor Jair Bolsonaro’s attempts to get the bill passed died in December 2022 after anti-gambling Catholic elements in his party thwarted his attempts.

Now, however, with President’s Lula’s approval, the agonizing wait is over. Analysts estimate the approval of the sports betting bill will earn the federal government over R$3bn (US$610m) per year in taxes alone.

According to SportBusiness, the freshly inked Betting Law states bettors will pay 15% tax on any winnings above R$2,112 (US$423.1). Licensed operators, meanwhile, will need to pony up a 12% tax.

To secure a five-year betting license, sports betting operators must pay R$30m (US$6.08m) which will allow them to run three brands in Brazil. If the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings want into the market, they will need to open a base in Brazil and subsequently pay tax on their income.

134 companies have already expressed interest in entering the sports betting market

According to media reports, Brazil’s Ministry of Finance has stated 134 companies have already expressed interest in entering the sports betting market in South America’s most populous country.

Major impacts expected

On Tuesday, SportBusiness stated the newfound clarity of Brazilian sports betting will have two major impacts on the sponsorship of sports in the country. The inflationary impact is that the big global sportsbooks will certainly want a piece of the action, creating competition among the major players.

The deflationary impact, the London based media and B2B firm states, is that “Brazil’s high taxes will reduce the net amount the companies are prepared to spend on marketing.”

SportBusiness added that, over the past two years, online betting operators have been jockeying for position for the day when a legal market finally arrives. This competition has seen sponsorship money pumped into Brazilian soccer clubs, with almost every franchise in the country’s top two leagues sporting a betting brand on their team shirts.




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