Brazil Authorises First Certification Lab

March 26, 2024
Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has become the first independent testing lab granted permission to certify betting systems and games in Brazil's forthcoming regulated market.

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has become the first independent testing lab granted permission to certify betting systems and games in Brazil's forthcoming regulated market.

An ordinance confirming GLI's approval was published in the Brazilian government's official journal on Monday (March 25) and was signed by the Ministry of Finance Prizes and Bets Secretariat’s Simone Aparecida Vincentini, who acts as the undersecretary for the agency while the government continues to search for a permanent secretary. 

It was thought that before any further ordinances to regulate sports betting and online gaming under December's Law 14.790 can be published, a secretary would have to be appointed to sign off on them, creating frustration among onlookers who have been waiting for a series of key policy and licensing decisions to be confirmed.

José Francisco Manssur, the former special advisor to the Ministry of Finance who was initially tipped to be the first head of the Secretariat before his ousting, is understood to have prepared at least a dozen ordinances that now wait to be signed off.

A new secretary will perhaps have their own ideas about the drafting of the ordinances, but for something more straightforward such as the approval of certification bodies, it would now appear that Simone Vicentini’s powers suffice. 

Brazilian gaming lawyer Udo Seckelmann, who works with Bichara e Motta in Rio de Janeiro, confirmed to Vixio GamblingCompliance that this is likely the case. 

As for why GLI was certified with its ordinance while other likely applicants await their approvals, Seckelmann said: “They have other applications, but GLI submitted the documentation first.”

Why the government has decided to issue approvals regulating company-by-company instead of releasing a list of multiple approved laboratories all at once is, according to Secklemann, unknown. 

The ordinance specifies that GLI’s approval will be valid for three years and that the government simply recognises “the operational capacity of the company Gaming Laboratories International LLC as a certifying entity for betting systems, live gaming studios and online games to be used by fixed-odd betting lottery operators”.

In a statement welcoming the approval, Karen Sierra-Hughes, GLI vice president for Latin America, commended the new secretariat within the Ministry of Finance for “creating a regulatory framework by adapting global best practices to their jurisdiction.”

Rio de Janeiro On Collision Course Over Local Licensing Regime

In a separate development in Brazil, the federal Ministry of Finance has reportedly sent a formal legal notice to the state of Rio de Janeiro to stop the state's lottery from licensing operators to offer sports betting and other online lottery games on a nationwide basis.

The news of the notice came from Brazilian outlet O Globo, which is owned by Grupo Globo, a media conglomerate that was one of the 134 companies that registered interest in obtaining a national betting licence with the Ministry of Finance last year.

The ministry allegedly tried to negotiate with Rio de Janeiro’s lottery authority LOTERJ to no avail before the missive was sent. 

The notification, which has not been publicly released, maintains that Rio de Janeiro must stop its current licensing regime as it does not require approved operators to block players from outside the territory from betting via platforms licensed within the state.

LOTERJ has so far issued four licences and earlier this month reopened an application process until early April after adopting a revised regulation that incorporates new language from Law 14.790 and allows accredited operators to offer online casino games, as well as fixed-odds sports bets.

Under Rio's regime, operators merely have to ensure that players formally acknowledge that their bets will be deemed to occur in the state of Rio de Janeiro, in apparent conflict with one provision of December's Law 14.790 that obliges any state-approved betting to be limited to players physically located within that state's borders.

The new federal law does grandfather state-level licences that were issued under licensing processes that were launched before August 2023, however.

Additional reporting by James Kilsby.

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