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Regulation of sports betting: clubs demand to participate and government says it is open to debate

Regulation of sports betting clubs demand to participate and government says it is open to debate

Photo: Rubens Chiri / São Paulo FC

The main football clubs in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo manifested themselves, this Tuesday, 4th, on the provisional measure (MP) that should formalize the regulation of sports betting in Brazil.

In a joint note, the group expressed “concern” with proposed changes to the law and requested participation in direct debates. The letter was signed by Flamengo, Fluminense, Vasco, Botafogo, Corinthians, Palmeiras, São Paulo and Santos.

The boards reinforce that bookmakers exploit the brands, symbols, names, images and events of partner clubs and that they are important sources of marketing revenue. In addition, football associations highlighted that the largest amount of betting occurs in sports.

It is important to note that 19 of the 20 teams in Serie A of the Brazilian Championship are sponsored by bookmakers. Cuiabá is currently the exception, but has shown itself willing to close with a bookmaker. It is estimated that agreements with companies in the sector will earn elite clubs around R$ 330 million per year.

Ministry of Finance is willing to listen to teams about the regulation of sports betting

According to an article by ‘O Globo’, this was the first manifestation of the clubs showing their intention to enter into discussions regarding the regulation of sports betting. Both the Executive Secretariat and the Secretariat for Economic Reforms did not receive requests for hearings from the officers of any clubs.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the folder “was aware of a note sent by some Brazilian clubs and informs that there were no requests for an audience until today” and that “if requested, it will be answered”.

The Federal Government has maintained frequent contact with the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) in relation to the subject, and meetings have already been held in Brasília and at the headquarters of the confederation, in Rio de Janeiro.

The MP that provides for the regulation of sports betting is being prepared by the Ministry of Finance and should be sent to the Federal Congress in April.

Note from football clubs in Rio and São Paulo

“CLUBE DE REGATAS DO FLAMENGO, FLUMINENSE FOOTBALL CLUB, S.A.F. BOTAFOGO, SANTOS FUTEBOL CLUBE, SÃO PAULO FUTEBOL CLUBE, SOCIEDADE ESPORTIVA PALMEIRAS, SPORT CLUB CORINTHIANS PAULISTA and VASCO DA GAMA S.A.F., gathered as the so-called “Series A Clubs of the RJ Axis x SP”, come together, on an emergency basis, without prejudice to other clubs later manifesting themselves in the same direction, to express our concern about the imminent regulation, by Provisional Measure, of Law nº 13.756/2018, which “provides on the National Public Security Fund (FNSP), on the allocation of proceeds from lottery collections and on commercial promotion and the lottery modality called fixed-quota bets”.

It is public knowledge and notorious that the companies that operate the so-called fixed odds betting services, popularly known as “Bets” or electronic betting, use the brands, symbols, names, images and sporting events of the big clubs and are responsible, currently, for important marketing revenues obtained by the Football Clubs of the Country.

Likewise, although electronic betting sites allow betting on the most varied sports, it is undeniable that the largest volume of transactions made is in the face of the big clubs in Brazilian football.

In this sense, it surprises the Great Clubs of the RJ x SP Axis that the proposal for regulation takes place without the Clubs having been consulted or given the opportunity to suggest improvements and adaptations to Law No. 13,756/2018, and without due discussion.

It is imperative that Football Clubs have direct participation in legislative discussions involving the regulation of the activity of electronic betting companies, allowing them to position themselves in a clear and public way about what they understand as fair and correct with regard to said regulation, given that that no one is authorized to represent them in this debate.

As Football is one of the great national assets, it is not possible to agree that discussions of this relevance are held without the participation of Football Clubs. There are relevant issues to be debated, in return for the use of the Clubs’ brands and events, as well as care in tax treatment, to avoid the risk of collapse of the activity, which would bring great losses to all.

In this way, the Great Clubs of the RJ x SP Axis come, by the present, to postulate direct participation in the debates, trusting that the Executive Power and, later, the Legislative Power, will adopt all the necessary precautions, allowing a wide participation of the Football Clubs of Brazil in this relevant and valuable discussion.”

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