Brazil Issues Ordinance On Sports-Betting Oversight

May 24, 2024
Brazil has issued yet another ordinance to implement a regulatory regime for sports betting, this time clarifying the respective oversight responsibilities of the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Finance. 

Brazil has issued yet another ordinance to implement a regulatory regime for sports betting, this time clarifying the respective oversight responsibilities of the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Finance.

Article 5 of Interministerial Ordinance no. 28/2024 specifies that “it is up to the Ministry of Sports to define and maintain updated and, with public access, the list of sports modalities and sports entities that can be the subject of bets on real sports-themed events”.

This provision appears to give the power to the Ministry of Sports to decide which sports and which bet types will be allowed in Brazil's regulated market, rather than the newly created Prizes and Betting Secretariat (SPA) within the Ministry of Finance.

The ordinance elsewhere confirms the obvious, that the SPA will be responsible for regulations for the operation of fixed-odds betting, as well as the licensing process that was separately defined by an ordinance released just 24 hours earlier.

However, the Ministry of Sports will be granted access to the SPA's licensing portal and officials within the ministry will also be able to analyse applications once they have been reviewed by the betting regulator.

The ordinance also acknowledges that the SPA and the Ministry of Sports will be working together to ensure “within the scope of their powers, the integrity of the unpredictability of events and sporting results, which are the subject of fixed-odd bets”.

The collaboration between the two ministries comes amid ongoing sensitivity around the subject of betting corruption and match-fixing, which is currently being dissected through a special parliamentary investigations committee (CPI) in the federal Senate in Brasilia.

That committee was formed earlier this year after the inconclusive outcome of a similar probe into allegations of corruption throughout Brazilian football that was held last year by the lower house of Congress, the Chamber of Deputies.

On Wednesday (May 22), the first Brazilian football club president appeared before the Senate CPI as São Paulo’s Julio Casares testified before senators.

He pled ignorance and said that he was unaware of any match-fixing in Brazil's football league, stating: “I never saw, except in later events in the media and what the Court determined, the correct punishments. But I never saw it within the scope of São Paulo Football Club.”

In a related development, prominent Brazilian footballer Lucas Paqueta, who did not appear before the earlier Chamber of Deputies CPI despite a summons to do so, was charged on Thursday by the English Football Association with alleged spot-fixing in four separate matches in the Premier League, where he plays for West Ham, by deliberately committing fouls to receive a yellow card.

The allegations surrounding Paqueta are arguably the most high-profile of those made against various Brazilian domestic and foreign-based players and, if he is found guilty, the international midfielder from Rio de Janeiro state would be likely to receive a lengthy ban, at a minimum.

Paqueta swiftly denied any wrongdoing in a statement posted on his social media accounts, saying: “I deny the charges in their entirety and will fight with every breath to clear my name.”

Still, the allegations may yet be relevant to the development of sports-betting regulations in Brazil given that several prominent senators have already proposed legislation to expressly prohibit licensed operators from offering wagers on negative outcomes such as yellow or red cards or corner kicks.

Additional reporting by James Kilsby.

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