The Brazilian Football Confederation, the clubs and companies that operate the betting market in Brazil are still in heated discussions due to the distribution of values generated by the regulation of sports betting and online games in the country.
With the changes in legislation promoted this year by the new federal government, the division of resources from sports betting in the country was established. However, the proposed division did not please the CBF, which suggested a division that would be more advantageous for the highest entity in Brazilian football.
The clubs, on the other hand, view the CBF’s stance as an intermediary in negotiations with reluctance, as the creation of an independent league of clubs to manage Brazilian football has become a reality. On the other hand, bookmaker operators are concerned about the limitations and operational difficulties that the agreement may generate.
However, the regulation of sports betting is strictly necessary to promote the legalized market and introduce new sources of revenue for the country, even if some of the parties involved are dissatisfied with the negotiation.
CBF’s change in stance caused distrust
The legal provision in question, article 30, § 1º-A, III, of Law 13,756/2018, underwent substantial modifications through the intervention of Provisional Measure 1,182/2023. This change established that a portion of 1.63% of funds from sports betting should be allocated to entities of the National Sports System (SNE) and to Brazilian athletes or those linked to sports organizations based in the country.
This allocation of resources was conditional on the authorization granted by clubs and athletes to use their names, symbols and brands.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), initially dissatisfied with the transfer proposal, suggested a substantial change. Instead of 1.63%, the CBF proposed that 5% of the bookmakers’ gross revenue be directed to it and the football teams. However, this proposal, which included a mechanism to prevent such amount from being categorized as public funds, did not achieve progress.
Amidst political obstacles, the CBF adopted a new stance, now advocating for the absence of a specific provision for transfers to the entities of the National Sports System. The justification is that contractual freedom would be more beneficial for clubs and athletes, allowing each party to negotiate individually with bookmakers the amounts owed due to the exploitation of their rights.
The line of reasoning defended by the CBF, although it has foundations, is based on the idea that bookmakers make a profit by exploiting teams’ brands and images. Therefore, it would be the responsibility of the clubs to set the amount due for the use of these rights according to their convenience and judgment of opportunity.
The CBF, as the entity responsible for organizing national sport, proposes to lead the negotiations of contracts related to these intangible rights in a centralized manner, facilitating contact between bookmakers, clubs and athletes. It is worth mentioning that, in the Federal Government’s original proposal, this attribution was destined to the Public Power, not to a private entity.
The clubs, in turn, view the CBF’s initiative to position itself as an intermediary in these negotiations with suspicion, especially when they are organizing themselves through leagues to take over the coordination of the Brazilian Football Championship, currently under the responsibility of the CBF. This is perceived as a step backwards in relation to the clubs’ current positions.
Finally, bookmakers also oppose the CBF’s intentions, arguing that significant operational challenges will arise, given the need to conclude thousands of contracts.
Furthermore, there is a fear that certain athletes or clubs may restrict the license to use their names and brands to a single bookmaker or a limited group of companies, which could result in a more restricted parallel market, continuing to offer events even without the express authorization of clubs and athletes.
Senate approves ban on sponsorships but clubs oppose the proposal
The teams from Series A and B of the Brazilian Championship came together to issue a joint statement of disapproval of amendment no. 38-U, inserted in bill no. 3,626/2023 and approved by the Federal Senate Sports Commission. This amendment deals with fixed odds bets on football, which, according to the Apostapedia portal, are the main betting format around the world.
Currently, 39 of the 40 clubs belonging to the two divisions maintain sponsorships with these bookmakers, whether on shirts, stadiums or competitions. It is common to find the name of these platforms on side panels and near the goals in stadiums.
It is estimated that the sector invests around R$3.5 billion in Brazilian football. For this reason, 33 teams decided to sign a joint note to repudiate the restrictions imposed on the activities of bookmakers in this modality.
The amendment prohibits the sector from “sponsoring teams, individual athletes, former athletes, referees, members of technical committees, professionals and amateurs of all sports, as well as championships organized by Olympic sports confederations, recognized and linked to the COB (Olympic Committee Brazilian), as well as the federations affiliated to them of all sports”.
In collaboration with Conar (National Advertising Self-Regulation Council), the teams have sought to develop new guidelines for application in the sports market.
They argue that the approval of the amendment, “in addition to being ineffective for the intended purpose, would represent substantial and irreparable damage to the main source of revenue for Brazilian football.” Finally, the teams appeal to the Economic Affairs Committee and the plenary to reject amendment no. 38-U.