International edition
May 11, 2021

The head of the Institute for Legal Gaming spoke about the consequences of the crisis

How will the pandemic affect the regulation of sports betting in Brazil?

How will the pandemic affect the regulation of sports betting in Brazil?
According to Magnho José, the launch of official sports betting rules will have to wait until 2021.
Brazil | 04/08/2020

As Brazil struggles with the health crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the president of the Brazilian Institute for Legal Gaming (IJL, in Portuguese) and editor of BNL, Magnho José, participated via Instagram live in a debate on the impact that the pandemic is having on the lottery market, the legalization of casinos and the regulation of sports betting.

T

he launch of official sports betting rules, a process led by the federal government and initially scheduled to occur 2020, will have to wait until 2021 as Brazil not only is struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic but also dealing with the amendments to the initial draft guidelines for the award of licenses.

According to Magnho José, it is likely that after the third public consultation takes place, the official rules will provide for 30 betting licenses

As explained by the head of the IJL, the approval of the Regulatory Framework for Gambling in Brazil will have to include the legalization of every vertical, including casino resorts, iGaming, bingo, the operation of slot machines and jogo do bicho —an illegal lottery-like game popular in Brazil. The Federal government could get around BRL 7 B (USD 1.3 B) from licensing fees.

The money raised from the operation of these activities could go towards the funding of social security, education, public safety, and more.

Sports betting could also generate over BRL 20 B (USD 3.7 B) a year in tax revenue.  Currently, government-owned lotteries raise over BRL 15 B (USD 2.8 B) a year.

The impact of COVID-19

Unfortunately, the suspension of sporting events is having a negative impact on Brazilian teams. Most recently, MarjoSports has suspended the sponsorship of the Corinthians and Goiás teams. "In my opinion, it is time the government legalized gambling to strengthen the economy, generate employment, and fight against poor labor conditions, the illegal market, and money laundering. It is worth noting that before the pandemic, Brazil’s unemployment toll was 12 million. Moreover, illegal gambling continues taking place normally in the country. Anyone who walks down the street can come across illegal bingo halls, slot machines and jogo do bicho. Brazilians are into wagering and problem gambers are not going to bet more with the opening of the market, they are just going to do it legally. If Brazil legalizes this industry, the government will be able to establish public policy aimed at treating these gamblers and adopt measures to protect citizens from the potential negative effects of illegal gambling," Magnho explained.

The temporary suspension of sports worldwide has led to the launch of wagering on other events. "Betting operators began offering bets on reality shows such as Big Brother Brazil, or, for example, on the date on which Ronaldinho Gaúcho is going to get out of prison in Paraguay," he explained.

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