The passage of the bill marks one of the final hurdles in the long journey to regulate online gambling in Brazil, the 10th largest economy in the world.
Bill 3626/23 – which will replace the Provisional Measure (PM) president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva issued in July – was amended several times from the original bill that the rapporteur, deputy Adolfo Viana, presented yesterday.
However, the bill still legalises online casino in addition to sports betting. Betting on fantasy sports will remain illegal due to a specific exemption from the new rules.
DEPUTY ADOLFO VIANA PRESENTS AMENDED BILL
The bill will now head to the Federal Senate, which has 45 days to comment on the bill.
Foreign operators barred from licensing
Unlike the PM, the proposed law excludes foreign companies from offering regulated gambling. Only businesses incorporated under Brazilian legislation, with headquarters and administration in the country will be able to operate.
It is unclear how much of a barrier this will be to foreign operators in practice. It may be the case that operators will need to enter the country through a local hero in order to comply with the requirements.
Operators will also need to have a minimum value of share capital, be a member of a sports integrity body and pass a host of other technical requirements.
Businesses to pay 18% revenue tax
The 18% tax on revenue remains in place. Commentators have highlighted this rises to 31-34% once additional contributions are accounted for.
However, the percentages of the gaming revenue that are allocated the various causes has been amended from what Viana proposed yesterday.
Now 2%, as opposed to 10% of the revenue will go to social security. Meanwhile 1.82% is earmarked for the Ministry of Education, 6.63% for sport and 5.0% for tourism.
The $R30m (£4.89m/€5.69m/$6.10m) licence fee also stays the same. Each payment grants an operator the right to offer gaming through one betting app, with an additional offering needing another licence. The bill also reduces the licence term from five years to three.
The bill also requires operators to put in place anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing policies, procedures and internal controls. Companies must also adhere to safer gambling obligations.
Ban on bonus bets
The proposed law also bars operators from offering bonus bets to customers, even if done as part of a promotion. The bill also prevents businesses from offering any credit lines to bettors.
Under the new rules, companies without a licence are prevented from advertising. The ads that are released must also follow new guidelines. If an ad is in breach of these guidelines, companies, internet service providers and websites must remove it after an order from the Ministry of Finance.
The bill also prevents operator’s senior leadership from placing bets. Also barred are regulators, those under 18 and those involved in sporting events.
New payment rules to counter grey market
The bill also includes new payment rules designed to prevent offshore gambling. Only institutions authorised by the Central Bank will be permitted to offering payment services.
A player will only be able to send the money in their betting account to a bank account that has headquarters and administration in Brazil.
Latest step to legal online gambling in Brazil
The passage of the bill marks the latest step in the long journey to regulate gambling in Brazil.
In 2018, the Federal Senate passed Federal Law No. 13,756/18, which sought to regulate fixed-odds sports betting.
Following the passage of the law, the government, through the Secretariat of Evaluation, Planning, Energy and Lottery (SECAP), had four years to develop the regulations.
BRAZIL HAS FACED A BUMPY ROAD TO REGULATION SINCE 2018
However, just short of the finishing line, the outgoing president Jair Messias Bolsonaro failed to sign-off on the new rules, throwing years of work into doubt.
But after Bolsonaro’s loss in the election, the more industry-friendly Lula took office. After being burned in a 2007 gambling scandal Lula had not been as vocal an industry supporter as he was before.
Despite this, many expected the new leader to regulate sports betting in order to help fund social projects.
He did so in July when his government promligated the PM that regulated sports betting nationwide. However, for a PM to remain permeant, it must be approved by the country’s Congress within a 120 day period.
The confirmation of the bill by the Chamber of Deputies is an important milestone in this journey. Only the Federal Senate stands now in between legal online gambling in Brazil.
The Regulating the Game conference is only a month away. This five-day event is dedicated to focusing on the world of gambling law and regulation.
Making its debut in London, this conference has a successful track record, having been established in Sydney as Australia’s gambling law and regulation conference. The UK, like Australia, is facing scrutiny of its gambling policy landscape.
The event will be held from 25 – 29 September.
With uncertainty about potential reforms and concerns about stifling interventions, the event is stepping up to address these matters.
Paul Newson, Regulatory and Gambling Specialist, said: “By bringing together all stakeholders, this conference provides a platform to hear from leading regulatory and industry figures, challenge conventional thinking, and deepen understanding of the sector. “Moreover, it’s a catalyst for constructive dialogue, evidence-based policy development, efficient regulation, and a renewed, innovative and sustainable industry.” He added: “In the midst of regulatory challenges and public policy uncertainties, it’s vital for the industry to maintain an influential voice, participate in policy conversations, contribute to regulatory discussions, build capabilities and encourage a workplace culture of ethical leadership and social responsibility.” A special collaboration with the International Centre for Gaming Regulation at UNLV brings an international perspective to Regulating the Game London. This partnership brings knowledge and experience from Las Vegas, Nevada, adding another international lens to the conference. Earlier, it was reported that a new event called Pitch! @RTG will be introduced at the conference. Its goal is to platform products and methodologies that can enhance capability, enhance results, and bring efficiency by addressing regulatory friction and challenges, inspiring compliance, provoking innovation and promoting ethical leadership.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India has released an advisory paper, requesting that all advertisements for gambling products cease immediately across all platforms.
Five main avenues have been listed in the advisory paper, those being newspapers, television channels, online news outlets, online advertisement companies and social media platforms.
Attached to this latest advisory were three previous statements, all released by the Ministry within the last 14 months.
Kshitij Aggarwal, Ministry Deputy Director of Digital Media, explained in the statement: “The above-mentioned Advisories clearly mention that betting and gambling is an illegal activity and hence advertisements/promotion of such activities directly or indirectly on any of the media platforms fall foul of various statues, including under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the Press Council Act 1978, etc.”
It may be noted that recently, the Central Government has taken action against a network of agents who had collected substantial money from users of gambling apps and subsequently funneled the funds out of India.
In this regard, it may be noted that advertisements of gambling or betting platforms not only pose significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children, but also have links to money laundering networks, thereby threatening the financial security of the country.”
The advisory continued to explain that there had been a noticeable increase in advertising around major sporting events, such as cricket tournaments.
With a number of major international cricket tournaments approaching, the Ministry has released this advisory letter as a reminder to organisations, emphasising that ‘the Government would be constrained to take appropriate action under the various statues’ if any further advertisements are shown.
This announcement comes only a week after the Maharashtra Government, one of the largest states in India, repealed its 1976 Casinos Control and Tax Act and effectively banned casinos in the region.
As each country has opened up to legalising gambling and the millions that it brings in terms of tax revenue, operators, affiliates and suppliers from around the world have clamoured to get a piece of the market.
Currently, the continent is made up of a complete mixture of regulations, some parts are wholly restrictive, others are permissive to a near-oblivious level and the rest are working to regulate as fast as possible – if they haven’t already.
Here, Gambling Insider explores the regulations found in each country and what is and isn’t currently legal.
Gambling Legal: Yes
Argentina, much like the US, regulates all of its gambling on a state-by-state basis – leaving it to the individual jurisdictions to decide what kind of rules to set when it comes to gambling restrictions.
Gambling Legal: Yes
While gambling is legal in Brazil, the market is near-universally unregulated. However, attempts to regulate gambling are now being pushed forward and are expected to pass in the near future.
Gambling Legal: Yes
Although online gambling is technically illegal, the state doesn’t prosecute those that do it – while land-based betting is entirely legal.
Gambling Legal: Yes/No
While gambling in Chile is legal, online casinos remain illegal – though players are not prosecuted for doing so – but, there are several rule changes that could be coming soon that will legalise all forms of gambling in the country and regulate it simultaneously.
Gambling Legal: Yes
Colombia has legal betting, so long as the companies that enter Colombia’s betting market have a local licence.
Gambling Legal: Undefined
The Costa Rican Government have an ‘unspoken approval’ of gambling in the country, though the practice is not strictly approved – since it is included under the country’s gaming law.
Gambling Legal: No
Ecuador completely closed off all gambling in 2011, and the industry has remained banned ever since the Executive Decree was ordered. However, foreign websites are allowed.
Gambling Legal: Yes
While gambling is legal in Guyana, much of the country’s online gambling remains unregulated.
Gambling Legal: Yes
Gambling Legal: Yes
Gambling Legal: Yes
Gambling Legal: Yes
Gambling Legal: Yes
Gambling Legal: Yes
Gambling Legal: Yes – the two casinos accept cryptocurrency as payment.
Right now, the only legal gambling found in Venezuela is in casinos that also accept cryptocurrency.
Country Retail Sports Betting Online Sports Betting Regulated Sports Betting Casino Regulated Online Casino Regulated Land-Based Casino Lottery
How can you tell licensed operators from unlicensed ones?
The answer here is you have to do research into the operator. Of course, it is an added chore to do when a player wants to get down and play, but being in the regulated market is always safer than not. Many countries in LatAm won’t prosecute players for gambling with black market operators, meaning that those operators exist freely – and usually without adequate player protection in place. Therefore, the word here is ‘caution.’
Is regulated sports betting coming in Brazil?
Well, the answer to that is, yes. Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed the bill that has regulated the practice as of 12 May 2023. As of now, Brazil is in the process of adopting it into daily life, ending a significant wait for many operators, suppliers and players in the famously football-obsessed country.
Revenue in the state was 0.8% lower than $1.30bn in May 2022 but ahead of the $1.16bn generated in April this year.
Slots remained by far the primary source of revenue for operators, drawing $877.9m worth of revenue, up 0.9% year-on-year. Multi-denomination slots accounted for $501.3m of this total, with penny slots generating $285.9m.
Revenue from table, counter and card games slipped 4.4% to $411.2m, with declines across almost all gambling types.
The government said the aim of reform is to prevent the financial and social harm of gambling. A licensing model would improve the country’s channelisation rate to legal offerings.
The new licensing system would include both online casino games and sports betting. The government would divide state-owned gaming monopoly Veikkaus into a number of separate companies within the same group as part of the process.
Doing so would effectively reverse the 2017 merger of betting brand Veikkaus, slot business Raha-automaattiyhdistys and horse race betting operator Fintoto.
The government said that current gambling policy “has not been successful”. It cited the continued issue of problem gambling amid a close to 50% channelisation rate to the white market.
Finland to end gambling monoply
Arguing that the regulation would be “enhanced” under a licence model, the government outlined what this would entail. It said that it would empower the regulator with sufficient resources. It also emphasised that it intends to introduce measures to combat money laundering and sports integrity violations.
Finland gambling monopoly
FINLAND HAS A CHANNELISATION RATE OF APPROXIMATELY 50%
Finland will also establish a single self-exclusion platform for all different gambling portals.
In addition, the government will require marketing to be “moderate and responsible in its content scope, visibility and frequency.”
“The introduction of the licence model must be based on a careful investigation of the social effects of the reform and especially its effects on the prevalence of gambling problems,” said the government.
Since the establishment of the Finnish online gambling trade association Rahapeliala in December last year, it has called for the introduction of a licensing model.
“We are pleased to see how the government has recognised the need to renew our gambling system to the realities of today’s technology,” said the association’s chief executive Mika Kuismanen.
“This reform strengthens fair competition and protects the interests of society and players. The reform of the gambling system is a great example of how structural changes can be implemented in an economically and socially responsible manner, when there is enough courage.”
New policy programme
The unveiling of the new government’s policy programme is the result of months of negotiations following the country’s April elections.
National Coalition Party leader Petteri Orpo will lead a right-leaning government. The governing coalition consists of the Swedish People’s Party, the Christian Democrats and the anti-immigration Finns Party.
The announcement comes following an April government study – which compared the monopoly system to peer countries abroad – recommended that the country should take steps to reform its monopoly system. The study was launched as both the government and opposition saw reasons to end the monopoly.
Peru’s Congress has approved a series of amendments to close loopholes.
Peru.- The National Congress of Peru has approved amendments to its Gambling Law 2022 to close a series of loopholes. The amendments received 105 votes in favour and none against.
Peru’s Gambling Law still requires the signature of president Dina Boluarte. The latest amendments include a revision to article 40 to eliminate a loophole that could have allowed international companies to avoid paying the headline tax. Now both local and foreign gambling companies will be subject to the 11.76 per cent tax rate on revenue.
Meanwhile, the minimum financial guarantee required from operators has been increased from 200 Peruvian tax units (approximately $270,000) to 600 (+$500,000) or 3 per cent of annual gross revenue. Rules on player registration have been relaxed to allow non-Peruvians to register to gamble, and operators will now be able to use a variety of internet domains, not only bet.pe as proposed in the previous version of the bill.
Finally, the law makes a modification to the Peruvian Penal Code to make it a criminal offence for an operator to offer gambling without a licence. It imposes a penalty of one to four years in prison for those found guilty.
The changes were proposed by former Congress leader Lady Mercedes Camones (APP). She said the aim was to ensure legal equality for all operators and to “ensure tax collection, prevent money laundering, verify that customers participate safely in this activity and collect the corresponding tax”.
National Vice Minister of Tourism, Madeleine Burns, has estimated that regulated gambling in Peru could generate around $160m a year for tourism, sports and health in the country. One concern that may remain for operators in the current grey market is the short timeframe given for implementation. The law grants a period of just 120 days for operators to transition to the regulated market.
Italy’s igaming revenue experienced a subtle decline, with December’s revenue of €315.8m showing a 2% decrease compared to the previous month. Despite this, there was a 1.2% increase year-on-year, indicating a stable increase in the industry.
Both retail sports betting and online sports were reflected in this decline, but the remaining products picked up from the previous month.
The stand out of the sectors was casino & slots, which witnessed an impressive 17% increase by reaching €206.1m revenue in December, compared to its €176.1m revenue in November.
In terms of market share, casino & slots dominated with the largest increase in market share, and online sports betting lost almost a third of its market share from November. Meanwhile, Lottomatica/Goldbet maintained its position as the leader in the online casino industry with a 12.4% market share, while there were no significant changes in the market share of other online casinos.
Online sports betting experienced a decline in market share, leaving it with a 27.4% market share in the igaming industry. Despite this, the market shares within the industry remained relatively stable, with the majority staying in the same position. Bet365 has faced some challenges in the past few months, but they have been slowly picking up its performance and have peaked this month at 13.1% market share.
In terms of Italy’s online and retail sports betting, Lottomatica/Goldbet continued to lead the industry with a 22.1% market share. Betaland, on the other hand, dropped to the bottom with a mere 0.9% market share, pushing Multigioco up to ninth position with a 1% market share. Despite the ups and downs, the Italian igaming industry continues to thrive and looks set to achieve a significant increase in the coming years.
PokerStars remains the leader of the online poker tournaments market with a 42.87% market share, even with its 4.7% decrease. E-Play 24 had no significant movements, allowing it to be overtaken by Snai and Lottomatica, leaving E-Play 24 with the smallest market share.
Lottomatica had the greatest increase in market share, placing it just behind Snai with a 9.14% market share. From this, it is evident that Lottamatic/Goldbet is on the rise in the Poker tournament industry as well as leading the sports betting market.
The full infographic of charts is available below, including all previous results.
Ficom Leisure is a leading European corporate advisory firm specialising in all segments of the betting and gaming sector.
Ficom Leisure also provides exclusive monthly estimates on the Spanish online market in the Spain iGaming Dashboard, including operator market shares across casino, sports betting and poker. It also provides monthly estimates on several US states, including New Jersey in the New Jersey iGaming Dashboard, Pennsylvania in the Pennsylvania iGaming Dashboard and Iowa in the Iowa iGaming Dashboard.
The gambling regulator in New York, the New York State Gaming Commission, greenlighted new rules affecting sports betting marketing, promotions and advertising in the state. The announcement came Monday following a meeting of the regulator where the new rules received unanimous approval by the Commission. Now, the rules would go through a 60-day period for public comment. During that time, changes to the rules may be made and at the end of the period, the regulator would have the final word.
A major part of the changes revolves around restricting options for marketing and advertising to underage individuals. Ultimately, the new rules seek to restrict sports betting ads from being appealing in any way to people under the legal age for wagering, including children.
The announcement comes after one year and two months have passed since the launch of statewide mobile sports betting activities. Under the new rules, sports betting companies will be prohibited from advertising or promoting their services via university-owned or college-owned news outlets or assets. This means that university radios, newspapers or other communications channels owned by colleges or universities cannot be used for advertising by sports wagering operators.
Betting Ads Cannot Target Kids
Another part of the rules changes the design of the sports betting ads. This means that under the new rules, those ads cannot be designed in a way that appeals to anyone under the legal age for wagering in New York. Depicting entertaining music or cartoon characters that may seem appealing to the younger demographic is also prohibited under the new rules.
Not unexpectedly, the rules prohibit the use of brand names, trademarks and logos or messages for kids’ toys, games, clothes, or equipment that is being used by children. “To the extent that promotional products carry sports wagering messages or brand information, a sports pool licensee and its employees shall use commercially reasonable efforts to distribute such products only to those who have reached the legal age for sports wagering,” state the new rules.
Similarly, the sports betting ad rules prohibit the depiction of underage persons, as well as endorsements from underage persons. This means that the betting operators won’t be able to collaborate with kids or include endorsements from kids in their advertising materials.
Ultimately, the new rules seek to protect the younger demographic and ensure an effective regulatory framework that prohibits the operators from targeting or engaging with children when offering services. Besides the new rules, the Commission confirmed that there is an increased interest in the three new casino licenses for downstate venues.
Gambling revenue in Lithuania grew by 18 per cent to €63.9m in the third quarter of 2022, driven by a strong performance from the online gambling sector.
Online gambling revenue increased by 31 per cent to €31.1m in Q3, with double-digit growth in all products.
Online slots revenue was up 37 per cent year-on-year at €19.7m, while online table game revenue rose by 38 per cent to €1.9m. Sports betting revenue climbed to €9.5m in the third quarter, an increase of 19 per cent versus the prior year period.
In the retail gambling sector, including lottery, third quarter revenue improved by 7 per cent to €32.7m. Slot machines in casinos and slot halls saw revenue climb 11 per cent to €12.1m, with table game revenue up 10 per cent at €4.6m.
Retail sports betting revenue showed growth of 48 per cent year-on-year to €2.7m, at a margin of 10.0 per cent (Q3 2021: 7.5 per cent), while Lottery revenue fell by 2 per cent in the quarter to €13.3m.
Total gambling revenue for the first nine months of 2022 was €179.9m, 33 per cent higher than the same period in 2021, during which the retail sector was disrupted by pandemic restrictions.
Retail gambling revenue increased by 30 per cent to €53.8m between January and September, with online gambling revenue up 38 per cent at €86.0m and lottery revenue climbing 22 per cent to €40.1m.