According to director Ricardo Berois

Uruguay's Directorate of Lotteries expects to "fine and charge Conmebol" for broadcasting gambling ads

Ricardo Berois, head of the National Directorate of Lotteries and Pools.
2022-09-27
Reading time 1:50 min

Uruguay's National Directorate of Lotteries and Pools said that it expects to obtain a positive result from the injunction it filed against the South American Soccer Confederation, better known as Conmebol, for broadcasting ads of a sports betting operator during Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana matches.

Before the Finance Committee of the Uruguayan House of Representatives, the director of Lotteries and Pools, Ricardo Berois, referred to the legal dispute that his institution initiated at the end of June against Conmebol, which since August 2019 has signed an agreement with the betting house Betfair, official sponsor of the aforementioned competitions.

In his presentation to legislators, Berois explained that sports betting operators cannot advertise within Uruguayan territory. "If a match is made and Uruguay watches it, but the match is taking place in the Bombonera [in Argentina], I have no power over that. But we do in Uruguayan territory. That is the dispute we have with Conmebol," he detailed.

"I hope to have some luck because it is not an easy fight, but we are going to charge the operator something. [...] This is an issue that worries us, but we are in this dispute. We hope to be able to fine and charge Conmebol," the official commented.


Betfair's advertisement during a live broadcast of a Conmebol match.

In addition, Berois argued that this situation is unfair for Uruguayan soccer clubs that, by law, cannot access sponsorship from bookmakers. "It is unfair because if the Uruguayan teams, who make a great sacrifice, want to have an advertisement here from one of these international gaming organizations, I forbid it. [...] However, Conmebol comes and does it," he stated.

Meanwhile, the director of Lotteries and Pools reported that the online betting sites blocked "so far are 1,525 in the whole process, since 2017." "That is the progress on blocking we have done. In the current period, that I have been in charge of, from March 13, 2020, to September 1, 2022, 325 sites have been blocked," he specified.

In this regard, he stated that after blocking the sites, his institution is obliged to inform the Central Bank of Uruguay about it, "so that it has the financial control that these games will not be chargeable." "We always do it and we also inform [the Directorate of Casinos]," he said.

Finally, Berois avoided referring to the bill that seeks to regulate online gambling in his country and that has already been approved by the Senate. "I don't want to get involved in the bill because I have nothing to do with it. That belongs to [the Directorate of] Casinos and I am not going to answer anything because I have no influence on it and I cannot comment on it," he said.

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