DOM 21 DE ABRIL DE 2024 - 17:44hs.
Vote today (29) in the Senate

Article of online betting bill limits the operation of companies and harms state lotteries

The last-minute inclusion of the surprising article 35-G in Bill 3626/2023, which regulates sports betting and online gambling in Brazil and is being voted on today (29) in the Senate, could severely harm the operation of state lotteries. It determines that States and the Federal District can authorize lottery modalities, but prevents a company from having a concession in more than one jurisdiction.

The exploration of sports betting through state lotteries was included in the final report by senator Angelo Coronel (PSD-BA). It was included Art. 35-G, which allows the States and the Federal District to be authorized to explore, within the scope of their territories, only the lottery modalities provided for in federal legislation.

This has already become clear in the decision of the Federal Supreme Court, which ended the Union's monopoly on the operation of lotteries, but paragraph 2 of the article defines that “the same economic group or legal entity will only be allowed a single concession and in only one State or in the Federal District.”

In practice, this will constrain large operators, prohibiting them from choosing the best markets to operate in if they opt for state licenses, in addition to preventing state lotteries themselves from granting authorizations to operators who have already obtained a license in another State.

In the opinion of some managers in conversation with GMB, this article should not prosper, as it contradicts free competition and the autonomy given to them by the STF in a correct decision.

Amilton Noble, director of Hebara and in-depth knowledge of the lottery market, states that “taking away the autonomy of states with the measure will restrict the competitiveness of large operators and take away the autonomy of states to contract them, always remaining in the background or 'with the surplus from other states'”.

For him, “it is the toughest measure taken against state lotteries since the fateful decree-law 204/67,” which restricted the operation of state lotteries.

“I hope that the governors mobilize their benches to repair this violence against their autonomy in being able to choose the best options to operate their lotteries,” says Noble, remembering that “the role of Congress, and especially the regulatory body (Ministry of Finance), it should be about stimulating competition and providing conditions for us to have a strong market. Restricting competition is not a good way to go,” he says.

He analyzes that “if this monumental mistake is not repaired, we will again be challenged by the Federal Supreme Court. Meanwhile, investments, especially those from outside Brazil, will be frozen due to the enormous legal and economic uncertainty generated by the measure.”

Source: GMB