Foto: Beto Barata/Agência Senado

The Senate Education Committee (CE) approved Bill (PL) 2,796/2021, this Tuesday (27). The PL establishes the Legal Framework for the electronic gambling industry.

The rapporteur, senator Leila Barros (PDT-DF), maintained the text approved by the Economic Affairs Committee (CAE). Therefore, it was forwarded to the Plenary for consideration on an urgent basis.

The project addresses the comprehensive regulation of the manufacture, import, sale and commercial use of electronic games. Furthermore, the text proposes measures to promote the business environment and facilitate investments in the sector.

The proposal also defines electronic games as software with graphic and audiovisual elements of a playful nature, in which users can interact with the interface.

This definition encompasses both console games and applications for mobile devices and web pages.

However, the project expressly excludes slot machines and similar games of chance from its provisions.

It also excludes fantasy games, such as those involving virtual professional sports teams, which are already regulated by Law 14,790, of 2023, which deals with fixed-odds bets.

Incentives and tax benefits

The text approved by the Senate Committee introduces special treatments for the promotion of games by different types of entrepreneurs, including individual entrepreneurs, business companies, cooperatives, simple companies and individual micro-entrepreneurs (MEI).

This special treatment applies to companies with annual gross revenue of up to R$16 million, with proportional adjustments for companies with less than one year of activity.

Furthermore, the project encourages innovative business models, as provided for in Law 10,973/2004, which provides for incentives for technological innovation.

Companies included in the special Inova Simples regime, provided for in Complementary Law 123/2006, which aims to encourage innovative ventures, are also covered.

Cultural and incentive benefits

Electronic game creators are included in four incentive laws: the Audiovisual Law, the Good Law, the Legal Framework for Startups and Innovative Entrepreneurship and the Rouanet Law.

This inclusion aims to provide tax benefits and financial support to developers.

For example, within the scope of the Audiovisual Law, there is a provision for a 70% reduction in income tax due on remittances abroad related to the exploitation of independent Brazilian electronic games.

In the Lei do Bem, it considers the creation of electronic games an activity of technological research and innovation development, which allows access to tax incentives, such as the 50% reduction in the Tax on Industrialized Products (IPI) levied on equipment.

Regulation and concerns

The project considers the manufacture, import, sale and commercial use of electronic games as free activities, but subject to an indicative age rating. The latter must take into account the risks to users’ health and the use of microtransactions.

Additionally, games aimed at children and teenagers must offer safeguards to protect them from inappropriate practices and ensure parental supervision and moderation.

Electronic games cover applications beyond entertainment, being useful in several areas, such as recreation, therapy, training and communication.

In the educational context, they can be teaching tools according to the National Common Curricular Base (BNCC).

The project also encourages the creation of courses and forms of training for game programmers, without the requirement for special qualifications or state licenses.