Brazil Betting Operators Announce Advertising Code

May 11, 2023
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An association of Brazil-facing operators has announced a new self-regulatory code for betting advertising, including a ban on any televised ads until after 9pm.

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An association of Brazil-facing operators has announced a new self-regulatory code for betting advertising, including a ban on any televised ads until after 9pm.

The “Brazilian Code for Advertising Self-Regulation” was unveiled on Tuesday (May 9) by the newly-formed Brazilian Institute for Responsible Gaming (IBJR) and will see leading operators impose a UK-style watershed for betting adverts in advance of formal regulatory restrictions still being prepared by the government.

The code will specifically prohibit all television advertising between 6am and 9pm, with an exception for ads broadcast either during, within one hour before or one hour after televised live sporting events.

“As in other international markets that are already regulated, the creation of appropriate windows of time for the broadcast of adverts for sports betting aims to reduce the access of minors to this type of content, avoiding their curiosity and desire to consume these types of entertainment products,” Andre Gelfi, IBLR president and managing partner for Betsson in Brazil, told VIXIO GamblingCompliance in an emailed statement.

Alongside Betsson, other IBJR members include Entain, Flutter, bet365, Betway, NetBet, Yolo Group, KTO Group and Brazilian fantasy sports operator Rei do Pitaco.

The self-regulatory code has been released as Brazilian government officials continue to apply the finishing touches to a presidential decree that is set to finally implement a licensing system for online sports betting in accordance with a federal law passed in December 2018.

Expected to be published imminently, that legislation is set to address tax rates, licensing fees, penalties and various other legal restrictions, although it is possible that more specific advertising rules will be left to the series of secondary ordinances that would come once a final version of the decree is approved by Congress.

Betting advertising has boomed since passage of Brazil’s 2018 sports-betting law, with Gelfi and other executives previously warning that newer entrants to the market have started to engage in marketing practices that would be considered inappropriate in more mature jurisdictions in an effort to establish their brands before licences become available.

Other provisions of the IBJR code call for operators to refrain from using any celebrity endorsers or influencers who primarily appeal to minors or are aged under 25. Ads should also include appropriate responsible gambling messaging and be socially responsible, with betting logos not permitted on any sports merchandise for children.

“With a lucrative but still unregulated market, our objective was to offer basic guidelines for the marketing of the betting sector based on our experience, encompassing communications by the media, industry, companies, individuals, brand ambassadors, social media influencers or non-profit groups,” Gelfi told VIXIO.

“IBJR members created the code and have publicly committed to following it in order to demonstrate to bettors, operators and to the government that it is possible to promote the sector in a responsible way,” Gelfi said.

“Once there is regulation, certainly there will be official rules that are going to apply to the sector.”

Advertising is one of several key policy areas in sharp focus as Brazil prepares to complete its transition to a regulated market for online betting.

Another hot topic is sports integrity, which is now being amplified in the wake of a high-profile match-fixing scandal involving several teams from the second division of the Brasileirão football championship.

Sports-betting integrity is set to be formally investigated by a special parliamentary commission due to be convened in the coming days in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies.

Earlier this week, the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) announced it would expand its operations to Brazil “in response to upcoming government regulation, the rapid growth of the Brazilian sports-betting market, and IBIA data confirming that Brazilian sport is a regional target for criminal match-fixers”.

Brazil’s first national sports integrity association was also formed in March by Genius Sports, Rei do Pitaco and several other initial members, with Genius Sports due to host a day-long sports integrity summit in Brasilia later today (May 11).

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