Crucial Brazil betting bill vote delay holds up market launch

Crucial Brazil betting bill vote delay holds up market launch
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The highly-anticipated launch of a federal betting market in Brazil has been delayed once again, this time due to concerns held by Senators about online casino.

A final vote was due to be held on Wednesday (29 November) and if approved, the legislation would then pass to President Lula da Silva – who introduced the Bill to Congress in July – for final signature.

However, the vote has been postponed as some Senators holding reservations about online gaming, such as casino games as opposed to betting on sports, do not believe the Bill posed an adequate framework to regulate these products.

The launch of a Brazilian betting market has unsurprisingly been eagerly awaited by many domestic and international stakeholders in the gambling sector, but would also pose significant opportunities for payment providers.

Online betting becoming legal in the market for the first time would mean many operators could expand existing partnerships with payment providers to the region, or seek new ones to adapt to tailored conditions in Brazil. ID verification and payments security providers could also be in demand.

For example, in an interview with SBC Media, OKTO’s Commercial Director, Galina Bineva, highlighted how operators will need a ‘solid’ payments partner if a long-term presence is their ambition.

Meanwhile, it is also no secret that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has been increasing in popularity both in Brazil and across South America, and so betting regulation could also have an implication for the growth of crypto-betting further down the line.

Before any changes and positives are seen, however, the legislation needs to be passed first. Bill 3,626/23 was initially introduced by President Lula with the primary objective of regulating sports betting.

The administration’s primary rationale for this was to drive tax revenue, but during the 120-pay legislative process, online casino provisions were introduced by Adolfo Viana of the Social Democratic Party in the House of Deputies, the lower chamber.

Online casino was later endorsed by the Senate’s Economic Affairs Commission (CAE), with Commission Rapporteur Angelo Corone citing the inclusion of igaming as being key to achieving the government’s taxation plans.

However, with concerns now raised by Senator Romario, President of the Senate Sports Committee, the bill could see further amendments which, if significant enough, could see it return to the Chamber of Deputies for further review.