Government intends to collect grants from bookmakers who plan to operate in Brazil
Photo: Marcelo Cortes / Flamengo

The measure being prepared by the Ministry of Finance aimed at regulating bookmakers must have mechanisms to require companies in the segment to pay a grant amount to operate in the country.

This governmental idea was revealed to Reuters by the CEO of, Marcos Sabiá, and published by Folha de São Paulo. The executive attended meetings to discuss the norm with members of the ministry commanded by Fernando Haddad.

Reuters confirmed the plan for charging the grant with a source from the portfolio. According to this member of the government, the charge will be part of the proposal to be announced after President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s trip to China at the end of March. The amounts to be demanded from bookmakers are still being debated.

Sabiá declared that with the regulation, the government will receive requests from companies that intend to operate in Brazil and will evaluate their financial and administrative capacity.

“These companies will need to pay a significant amount to obtain the operating license in Brazil. This shows that they will have the capacity to operate”, said the executive. “It is quite important to have (the charge for the grant), even as a measure of the company’s financial capacity.”

According to the CEO of Galera.Bet, only Brazil and Indonesia within the G20 do not have specific rules for the betting industry. Sabiá also stressed that the resources obtained with the grant could be used to structure the government area that will regulate and supervise this market.

“The charge for the grant is healthy for the market because it helps to select and qualify qualified operators for the operation”, said the president of the Instituto Brasileiro Jogo Legal, Magnho José.

Bookmakers have been operating since 2018 without specific regulation

A law approved by Michel Temer in 2018 released the practice of sports betting in the country, however, it established the need for future regulation of this sector, which was not implemented. Therefore, the government cannot tax companies.

Since then, bookmakers have gained popularity on the national scene, closing partnerships with the main football clubs and other sports, in addition to advertising on TV and growing on social networks.

In early March, Haddad stated that the collection of taxes from this segment will be used to offset the growth of the Income Tax exemption range announced by the government. The cost of this benefit is estimated at 3.2 billion reais this year.

According to Sabiá, the lack of national regulation prevents bookmakers from having headquarters and operating directly from Brazil, which also makes it difficult to assess the market size and potential taxation more accurately. Treasury estimates pointed to an annual collection of between R$ 2 and R$ 8 billion after the enactment of the provisional measure.