Brazilian Government Invites Sports Betting Operators to Public Conference

In response to Brazil’s Finance Minister’s proposal of a tax plan on sports betting, an official motion has been filed by Deputy Junio Mano to host a gathering between the government and operators. This could potentially impede the government’s plans of finding new sources of revenue.

Mano’s request was submitted to the Finance and Taxation Commission, according to Games Magazine Brazil. The purpose is to assemble key government figures and sportsbooks to discuss the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad’s, objective of having a tax plan in place by the end of this month.

At the federal level, sports betting is presently unregulated in Brazil. And levying a tax on an unregulated commercial activity would be complicated. Mano is conscious that considerable sums of money are at stake and is advocating for legislators and operators to be part of the tax-imposition dialogue.

Sportsbooks are being presented the opportunity to have their voices heard. According to the Minister of Finance, these operators are making large profits without contributing to the government. They offer their services in the country, gathering wagers and then transmitting the profits to offshore accounts, which is considered “illegal” and invites tax evasion.

The Brazilian government has had several years to pass laws that would regulate the industry, but has yet to do so. This has resulted in certain states, such as Rio de Janeiro, to enact their own regulatory frameworks. This situation is changing, and a regulated industry is coming into view.

In order to facilitate this, Mano believes it is time to convene with essential legislators and sportsbooks. He has requested the presence of numerous government officials, including the Minister of Finance and Marcos Barbosa Pinto, the Undersecretary of Economic Reforms.

Mano has also requested the attendance of established sportsbooks, such as Bet365, Sportingbets, Pixbet and Alexandre Fonseca of Betano, who serves as the VP of Brazil’s National Association of Gaming and Lotteries. He noted that sports betting and gaming operators play a significant role in the country, and in some cases, contribute to the sponsorship of sports clubs. This is mutually beneficial, as the club receives funds which can be used for improvement, and the operator gets advertising and marketing.

Mano wishes to prevent any surprises when Haddad unveils his tax plan. For that reason, he believes that the concerned parties should see it first. As of now, there is no indication whether or not Mano’s appeal has been approved.

To support the injection of resources for the government and the promotion of responsible gaming, three new organizations have been formulated recently. These are the National Association of Games and Lotteries, the Brazilian Institute of Responsible Gaming and the Brazilian Association of Integrity. All are attempting to shape the future of the industry, with the last two having been developed in March.