SÁB 22 DE JUNIO DE 2024 - 22:05hs.
Four operators have already been approved

Finance notifies Rio government to stop illegal accreditation of sports betting houses

The Ministry of Finance sent a notification to the Rio de Janeiro State Lottery to stop the accreditation of online sports betting houses in the current format. The ministry maintains that Loterj is licensing bets (as the operators are called in Brazil) without establishing a barrier for companies to only operate in Rio de Janeiro territory.

In practice, says Finance, bets are accredited in Rio de Janeiro, but can operate throughout the national territory, which is prohibited by federal legislation that deals with the matter. In 2020, the Federal Supreme Court authorized states and municipalities to explore games, but respecting the limits of their respective territories.

'Dribble'

Rio de Janeiro’s “dribble” in legislation worries the economic team. The assessment is that, if the practice is maintained, there will be a fiscal war in the country surrounding the accreditation of houses. Furthermore, there is a risk of dismantling the regulations prepared by the federal government and approved by Congress.

Another point of concern is the drop in revenue, as Rio de Janeiro established a grant of R$5 million (US$ 1m) for each company, while in the federal government the grant will be R$30 million (US$ 6m).

Furthermore, taxes in the sector are collected by the state government, and not by the Union. The rate predicted by Loterj for bets is 5% of the companies' gross revenue, against the 12% to be charged by the Union.

Technicians who follow the discussion closely told Globo News that the Ministry of Finance negotiated changes with Loterj so that the loophole could be closed, but there was no agreement. As a result, the decision was made to notify.

So far, more than 130 companies have expressed interest to the government in operating in Brazil – the economic team says that the notice for federal accreditation is undergoing final adjustments before publication.

The federal government's expectation is to raise up to R$10 billion (US$ 2bn) per year from the betting market, which also includes virtual casinos.

Appeal to the STF

Sources at the Ministry of Finance state that, if Loterj does not comply with the requests from the Prizes and Betting Secretariat, the Union will appeal to the Supreme Federal Court (STF).

Today, the Rio de Janeiro lottery has four accredited bets and another three in the qualification process. The 30-day deadline that Loterj gave for more companies to request accreditation ends on April 4th.

Currently, Apostau.com, Bestbet, Marjosports and Pixbet are already accredited by Loterj and operating by the authority throughout Brazil. Three others are currently undergoing accreditation: 1XBet, Lema and Laguna.

The Paraná State Lottery was also bothered by Loterj's stance and went to court. Lottopar joined a public civil action that is taking place in the state court of Rio and questions the criteria that the company from Rio de Janeiro adopted for the accreditation of bets.

In a statement, Lottopar stated that the objective is to preserve the betting market in the country. For the Paraná lottery, "the bettor can place the bet anywhere in Brazil and it will always be considered in the territory of the State of Rio de Janeiro."

Contacted by Globo News, Loterj reported that the sale of its products, within the scope of accreditation for the operation of public services via the internet, does not exceed the territorial limit of the authority's jurisdiction, legitimized and pacified by the STF.

"The bettor, as an essential condition for the conclusion of any consummation, is obliged to declare that he accepts and agrees with the fact that the bet is carried out, for all purposes, in the State of Rio de Janeiro," it added, through note.

Loterj also informed that it maintains dialogue with all spheres of the public and private sector, in addition to control and prosecution bodies, valuing a federative and democratic environment. "In this context, we inform you that we received, yesterday, the letter from the Ministry of Finance, which will be analyzed and responded to," it concluded.

Source: g1