Federal Public Ministry demands that Caixa Econômica stop charging minimum amount in online bets

Published on
Federal Public Ministry demands that Caixa Econômica stop charging minimum amount in online bets

The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF) filed a Public Civil Action (ACP), with a request for urgent relief, for Caixa Econômica Federal to stop promptly requiring a minimum amount in online betting on lottery services, until the pandemic of the new coronavirus is properly controlled.

Today, the financial institution requests an amount of 30 reais to place virtual bets. In lotteries, you can purchase tickets or fractions of tickets for a significantly lower price, such as Mega-Sena, which can be purchased for R $ 4.50.

To bet on the internet, the Brazilian needs to buy another ticket or several fractions, in order to reach the minimum amount.

Caixa Econômica tries to justify minimum collection of online bets

Caixa, in turn, justified that online lottery bets have higher operating expenses and that, therefore, the minimum value requirement would be necessary. Initially, Caixa Econômica reported that it was carrying out analyzes aiming at reducing this minimum charge.

However, in a later note, the bank reported that these surveys showed that the expense would need to be maintained and, as a result, it would be impossible to lower the minimum limit currently practiced.

As a result, the Public Prosecutor’s Office also requested that the state bank be recommended to show in court all this information related to the expenses generated by online lottery services, proving, in a comparative table, the distinction between the costs of face-to-face and online services lotteries, regarding bets.

Prosecutor considers measure as “abusive practice”

According to the Attorney of the Republic in Goiás, Mariane Guimarães de Mello Oliveira, the collection of Caixa Econômica Federal can be interpreted as an abusive practice of minimum consumption and disrespect to the concept of isonomy due to the difference in the sale of tickets in the face-to-face and online formats.

“Caixa treats consumers of the same product or service in a different way and without plausible justification, provided by itself, making it unfairly difficult for consumers in need to access the virtual option,” he declared.

The prosecutor also reinforced that social isolation is an essential measure to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and that the requirement of a minimum amount of R $ 30 for internet bets can substantially increase the concentrations of people in the lottery.

In case of non-compliance, the Public Ministry requested that the state bank be charged a daily fine of R $ 5,000. The full text of the Public Civil Action can be found here.