Brazil opens consultation on vague betting mandate

The Brazilian government could potentially fast track legislation for regulating fixed odds betting, as Brazil’s Economic Ministry sanctions a month-long public consultation to seek guidance on regulating wagering services.

Sanctioned this week, Brazil’s Economic Ministry is reviewing legislative provisions attached to the conditionally approved ‘bill MP-846’, which aims to establish a federal gambling framework for Brazilian online and land-based gambling.

Closing 2019, the office of outgoing President Michel Temer signed the approval of MP-846 – a bill restructuring CAIXA lottery distributions, but which further allowed Brazil’s Congress to form laws regulating sports betting.

Served with a vague mandate, Brazilian legislative stakeholders have been given until the end of 2020 to establish the nation’s first federal sports betting regulatory framework, a measure which will have to be re-approved by Congress despite MP-846’s approval.

Open until 31 August, the Economic Ministry’s consultation seeks guidance on a number queries related to competition practices, regulatory models, size of the market, number of licensed incumbents and standards.

A key assessment will see the ministry weigh-up regulatory models for governing sports betting, evaluating whether to move forward on a ‘concession’ or ‘permit’ based framework.

A concession model would see the Brazilian government limit the number of available operator licences, likely requiring operators to pitch for regulated market entry, whilst a permit-based model would deliver an ‘open framework’ for licensing incumbents which meet regulatory requirements.

Further guidance is required on which government agency or regulatory body is best suited to oversee a revamped Brazilian gambling marketplace, a contentious issue as the nation’s legislative bodies have been left embarrassed by the suspended sale of LOTEX – Brazil’s state-owned scratch card operator.

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