As widely expected, Brazil’s governing Liberal Party has confirmed that no federal gambling or sports betting bill will be approved before Brazil settles its general elections in October.
The decision was confirmed by Carlos Portinho, Senate leader of the Liberal Party, who backed the delay supported by President Jair Bolsonaro.
The delay scuppers original plans drafted by SECAP – the government’s Secretariat of Evaluation, Planning, Energy and Lottery to launch Brazil’s federal sports betting regime to coincide with the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar (21 November to 18 December).
The terms for Brazil’s federal sportsbook and gambling frameworks were agreed upon in May, approved by congress and the Ministry of Finance to be signed into law by President Bolsonaro’s office.
However, following weeks of delays in securing Bolsonaro’s signature, Brazilian media reported that the Liberal Party had chosen to stall any gambling mandate as elections dawned.
Of significance, Bolsonaro was reported to be seeking the support of Brazil’s Evangelical lobby, a core campaign base for the President’s re-election, who are staunch gambling prohibitionists.
Though settled by Congress, Bolsonaro has personally chastised the gambling proposals, in which he is reported to have guaranteed Evangelical leaders a final say in how new laws will be implemented, should he win re-election.
Further revisions of Brazil’s sports betting and gambling decrees could well be sanctioned, as Bolsonaro told Congress that new laws must ensure that licensed gambling firms will be subject to paying all domestic taxes.
Should further changes be sanctioned by Bolsonaro, the Liberal Party will face a collision with Brazilian football clubs and media, that were promised ‘no government interference‘ on a federal gambling solution once approved by Congress.