JUE 25 DE JULIO DE 2024 - 10:51hs.
Blocking of RJ websites by Anatel

Court denies Rei do Pitaco's appeal, does not allow ANJL and IBJR as amicus curiae in the action

The Federal Court denied this Wednesday (10) an appeal by Rei do Pitaco, which asked not to be included among the ongoing blocks by Anatel for not offering sports betting and online gaming, only fantasy games. It was not attended to because it did not prove that it only operates fantasy games. The National Association of Games and Lotteries (ANJL) and the Brazilian Institute of Responsible Gaming (IBJR) were not accepted as “amicus curie” in the action because they defended the interests of their members.

While the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) works with internet providers in Rio de Janeiro to block unlicensed sports betting and online gaming sites by Loterj, federal court actions have attempted to overturn the decision, albeit unsuccessfully.

In an appeal filed by Rei do Pitaco, the company claims it does not operate sports betting or online games, only fantasy sports. Rei do Pitaco argues that Article 49 of Law 14.790/2023 states that fantasy games are not considered a form of lottery operation and therefore do not require public authorization for providing fantasy sports services.

Additionally, the petition contends that Anatel delegated the verification of the operational legitimacy of companies identified by Loterj as unlicensed in the state, rather than conducting this verification itself.

The Federal Court's understanding is that "the applicant's Social Statute is not clear on this point [provision of fantasy game services only], stating, among other activities, the operation of recreational electronic games. Thus, considering that there is no other document proving the applicant's activities and it is not demonstrated that the claimant is in the fantasy sport mode, I do not verify the presence of the requirement of relevance of the application." Therefore, the request for a preliminary injunction was denied.

ANJL and IBJR

The National Association of Games and Lotteries and the Brazilian Institute of Responsible Gaming also had their requests to join the action requiring Anatel to block sites without Loterj authorization as "amicus curiae" denied.

In the ruling, the Federal Court explains: "It is crucial to understand that the function of amicus curiae is not intended to favor one of the parties, that is, it is divorced from the economic interest that may result from the dispute. The representativeness of these interveners must be directly related to the intrinsic nature of their actions or their statutory objective, attesting that their participation is linked to the public interest in improving the judgment of the matter. The role of amicus curiae is to help the court understand and develop sensitive or highly impactful topics, not merely to defend one of the parties in the dispute."

When analyzing the entities' statutes, the court pointed out that "among the objectives of ANJL and IBJR is to defend the rights of their associates, who are essentially companies that operate betting or gaming modalities."

The ruling continues: "Therefore, the interest in this process is not to assist the court in understanding the subject but to ensure that the outcome is favorable to their represented parties."

For this reason, the appeals presented by ANJL and IBJR were also denied.

Source: GMB