Brazil's Executive Held 78 Meetings About Sports Betting

April 10, 2024
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Brazilian transparency non-profit Fiquem Sabendo has released data on the meetings held over the past two years with the government regarding online gambling. 
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Brazilian transparency non-profit Fiquem Sabendo has released data on the meetings held over the past two years with the government regarding online gambling.

According to public information, there were at least 78 meetings involving nine ministries. 

Now ousted former special advisor to the executive secretary of the Ministry of Finance, José Francisco Manssur, was a part of 53 of those meetings. 

Bet365 had the most meetings of their peers.  The online gambling giant is a member of the trade group the Institute for Responsible Gaming (IBJR). 

The IBJR  lobbied heavily and successfully against higher taxation rates. 

In January, the group wrote that it was “concerned at the lack of definition regarding the basis and method for calculating income taxes to be applied to prizes paid to customers”, laying out one of its ongoing lobbying issues. 

The IBJR also counts the likes of Flutter, Entain and Rei do Pitaco as members. 

Of the 78 meetings, only 21 have been held this year, a reflection of Manssur’s absence and the Carnaval festive break in February.  

The released information sheds no light on who will fill Manssur’s shoes and become the head of the Bets and Prizes Secretariat. 

The lack of leadership is widely perceived as slowing down the release of much-needed secondary regulation and the opening of a licensing window.

Technology giants Google, Meta and YouTube are also recorded as having meetings with the Treasury to make sure they were compliant with advertising rules — a move that may be routine for global companies, and a necessity in Brazil’s unique self-governing advertising system. 

Advertising rules may change soon, if the Senate’s economy committee has its way. 

The committee is to hold a hearing today (April 10) on whether or not to ban celebrities and influencers from advertising gambling. 

The proposal comes from Senator Eduardo Girão, a long-time critic of gambling, and would ban athletes, former athletes, presenters, celebrities and influencers from taking part in sports-betting advertising. 

This would prove a problem for everyone from lesser influencers to football superstars such as Ronaldinho, who has launched his own betting platform. 

Perhaps Brazil's most famous active footballer, Neymar, was himself recently sued for promoting Blaze.

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