Brazil President signs sports betting measure into law

The prospects for regulated online sports betting in Brazil were significantly increased on Wednesday (12 December 2018) when Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, signed into law Provisional Measure No 846/2018 (“PM 846/2018“). Although the official text has not yet been published, the draft of the PM 846/2018 proposed, among other things, to legalise land-based and online fixed-odds sports betting.

Specifically, the relevant provisions grant the Ministry of Finance the power to authorise or licence fixed-odds sports betting operations that should be offered in a “competitive environment” both through retail channels and via “virtual media”. As the Ministry of Finance is a Federal authority, any regulations ultimately issued would apply throughout Brazil.

However, there remains a big question mark over whether the provisions will manifest into a workable licensing regime for the online sports betting market. As it stands, the PM 846/2018 simply tasks the Ministry of Finance to develop the regulations over a 2 year period (a timeframe which can be extended by a further 2 years), so while President Temer’s approval of the measures marks a significant breakthrough, we are some way off a fully implemented regime.