Gambling Legislation

Brazil Senate squashes online gaming legislation but approves sports betting

Brazil Senate squashes online gaming legislation but approves sports betting

An online casino amendment was stripped from the bill, but could be revived next year

Brazil’s Senate Plenary voted on December 12 to authorize the amendments to Bill 3,626/2023, which will legalize sports betting. However, iGaming legislation was withdrawn from the bill.

While the Senate voted to exclude iGaming, the Chamber of Deputies retained the authority to reverse the decision, meaning iGaming could be re-introduced to the bill. With online gambling not part of the equation, projected tax revenue will likely fall short of expectations.

With an initial target of R$ 1.6 billion ($322.38 million), it is now expected to reach less than half of that amount. The estimated R$700 million ($149.3 million) is well below what was initially hoped from taxes and licensing fees.

iGaming will likely be the most controversial subject when the Chamber of Deputies votes next week. Because they have the authority to reintroduce iGaming into the bill, the story is far from over. The vote was initially scheduled for December 6 but was delayed because not enough senators were available to conduct a vote.

Besides removing iGaming from the bill, the Senate voted to exclude virtual games and sports betting terminals. It also voted against an amendment to prohibit sports betting advertising in stadiums.

Taxation recommendations issued by the Economic Affairs Commission on 22 November were also approved, confirming taxes on gross gaming revenue will be set at 12% instead of 18%. The taxation on player winnings has also been revised, with bettors taxed at a rate of 15% on annual winnings.

After its approval in the Senate, the bill returns to the Chamber of Deputies. It now needs to vote again to agree on the Senate’s changes ahead of the Christmas recess that begins on December 23 and continues through early February.

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