International edition
August 21, 2019

Cristina Romero de Alba, partner at ‘Loyra Abogados’ law firm

"There is a lot of valuable experience on which Brazil can draw to become one of the biggest regulated markets worldwide"

"Now it is time to get deeper into regulatory details and design the development up to the launch of the first operations," Romero de Alba pointed out.
Brazil | 06/04/2019

The Spanish lawyer, a legal expert in the global gaming industry, has shared the main topics covered in the public hearing held at Brazil’s lower house on May 22 to discuss the regulation of sports betting in the country.

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wo weeks after the Chamber of Deputies’ Sports Committee held a public hearing to discuss the enforcement rules of Law 13756/18, which allows land-based and online sports betting operations, Cristina Romero de Alba estimates that this practice could begin during the second half of 2020.

Could you mention three topics on which all of the speakers had agreed?

Of course. First of all, we agreed on the fact that all types of gaming products should be regulated—not just sports betting; secondly we believe there is a need to create a taxation framework aligned with international standards—over GGR, offsetting of losses and prices in the case of taxation of the player etc.; and finally, we believe there should be a speedy but professional and transparent process that is in line with international standards as regards technical, legal and financial requirements to the operators in order to guarantee a well-sized market—we insisted on the need to create a free access market or one with a high number of licenses due to the size of the country—and protect public interests.

Lawmakers had agreed on submitting a document before the Ministry of Economy. In which ways can lawmakers and companies collaborate on the regulatory process from now on?

Undoubtedly, initiatives like the session of the 22th are very relevant and useful as a public arena for exchange of ideas. Now it is time to get deeper into regulatory details and design the development up to the launch of the first operations. The process can be supported further by providing continuous exchange of relevant information (e.g.: economic impact of different types of taxes on market size, evidence regarding the positive effects of regulating all types of gaming, etc.) and holding more of these sessions, probably more detailed and even monographic. There is a lot of valuable experience on which Brazil can draw to become one of the biggest regulated markets worldwide.

When do you think online sports betting could be up and running in Brazil?

A million-dollar question, no doubt! My personal take is that it will be Q2 2020, but I do not have a crystal ball and there are many factors that have an impact on this development. Shall we bet?

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