Brazil Gambling Oversight May Move To Ministry Of Sport

September 11, 2023
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There is a political battle for the proposed Brazilian National Gambling Secretariat, as it is being used as a bargaining chip and may be given to the Ministry of Sport. 
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There is a political battle for the proposed Brazilian National Gambling Secretariat, as it is being used as a bargaining chip and may be given to the Ministry of Sport.

Originally, the secretariat, which technically does not yet function, was meant to be a part of the Ministry of Finance. 

The Ministry of Finance drafted the provisional measure to regulate the 2018 sports-betting law that is currently being left to expire despite minister Fernando Haddad’s best efforts to preserve it, in favour of an “urgency bill” that copies much of the measure’s language but gives politicians more powers to amend it. 

It has now been revealed that Arthur Lira, who is the president of the Chamber of Deputies, wants to move the new regulator under the purview of the Ministry of Sport. The Ministry of Sport is run by André Fufuca, a Lira ally and appointee. 

Allies of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva are meanwhile expressing their serious misgivings about the move, as they do not believe that the Ministry of Sport has the resources or expertise to handle such a complex secretariat. 

It struggles, they say, as things stand to work within the budget that they have.

The new secretariat is expected to have some 65 odd positions, while the Ministry of Sport is barely twice the size with 121. 

The sports-betting bill is expected to take centre stage on the Chamber of Deputies floor this week, when it will be presented and voted on under Lira’s watchful eye.

According to urgency rules, it should hold up all other congressional business until it is addressed by deputies, with its 45-day urgency period now expired.

Leading figures in the bill’s stewardship, including Lira, have suggested that it could be amended to include online casino gambling as well as sports betting.

Legal experts have warned, however, that this will likely intensify political opposition to the bill and could jeopardise its passage, further delaying an already years-long wait to enact legal sports betting in Brazil.

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