Sports betting regulation can help unlock casino clearance
Rodrigo Pacheco (President of the Senate), Fernando Haddad (Minister of Finance) and Arthur Lira (President of the Chamber). Photo Marcelo Camargo / Agência Brasil

The sports betting regulation is being seen by members of the Federal Government and Congress as the first step towards a possible legalization of gambling in Brazil, such as casinos, bingos, jogo do bicho.

The information was passed on to Reuters by two sources and also published by Portal Terra.

The president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), would have commented on this possibility in meetings with government officials and parliamentarians.

The resumption of the games in Brazil has the support of the new Minister of Tourism, Celso Sabino.

The Ministry of Finance would not impose obstacles either. After all, the folder would be interested in the collection capacity, being ready “to regulate” the theme if the measure goes ahead.

In a recent interview with Metrópoles, Sabino stated that he is in favor of legalizing gambling in Brazil.

As a deputy, he voted in favor of a bill on the subject. The so-called Legal Framework for Gambling was approved by the Chamber in early 2022, after more than 30 years of processing.

However, the matter is currently stalled in the Senate and there is still no definition of a rapporteur in the Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ).

The text, in turn, provides for the exploration of bingos, casinos, jogo do bicho and other online modalities.

Licenses for operation will need to respect several requirements, as well as payment of an inspection fee.

Minister of Tourism Celso Sabino - sports betting regulation
Photo: Myke Sena/Chamber of Deputies

Sports betting regulation will serve as a reference

According to one of the sources, the president of the Senate is using the sports betting regulation as a reference to “see how the Treasury controls and puts it in a regulatory box”.

From then on, Pacheco could resume processing the Legal Framework for Gambling

The Ministry of Finance published this week the provisional measure to regulate and tax sports betting in the country. The measure is already valid, but needs to be approved by Congress within 120 days to remain in force.

“Pacheco mentioned that he really wants to see the government’s capacity to work on these sports betting to rethink the casino issue,” said the source from the economic area, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A congressional source who took part in a conversation on the subject with the senator said that Pacheco deals with the subject with “the caution that the subject requires”, but that he sees the sports betting regulation as a test.

“Obviously, if there is this whole context of ‘bets’, with this working well, it opens the way for the games to also be treated in the same way, it ends up being a test”, he said.

The Ministry of Finance, in turn, told Portal Terra that its job “is to regulate sports betting. It has nothing to do with gambling.”

Potential for revenue from the regulation of gaming in Brazil

According to projections by deputy Felipe Carreras (PSB-PE), rapporteur for the project in the Chamber, the gambling regulation can generate a collection of R$ 20 billion per year.

This amount, therefore, would be made viable by charging the Contribution for Intervention in the Economic Domain (Cide) at a rate of 17%.