Pele Law reforms demand that Brazilian bookmakers pay fee on IP rights 

A further obstacle stands in the way of the passage of Brazil’s federal sports betting regime, as football clubs call for the government to ensure that bookmakers observe IP rights and protections.   

Addressing the Chamber of Deputies’ Sports Committee, the Presidents of Brazil’s 15 biggest football clubs outlined their support for Bill PL-1153/2019 that aims to reform the ‘Pele Law’ – a mandate that governs the civic/social duties of Brazilian pro-sports clubs and governing authorities.

The Bill authored by Senator Veneziano Vital do Rêgo has called on the government to create a special pension for Olympic and Paralympic athletes and to end the commercial cap on football player image rights.

Backed by football clubs, Pele Law reforms demand that the government to impose a licence fee on bookmakers in order to secure IP rights. The amendment would see licensed bookmaker pay an unspecified licence fee to be able to use the IPs rights (club logos, images, athlete pictures) of Brazilian football clubs to promote their services.

In addition, only bookmakers who pay the licence fee, will be allowed to participate in football sponsorships and partnerships with Brazilian clubs.

The Bill’s supporters stated that amendments were required to maintain Brazilian football’s commercial integrity, ahead of the market being changed by a federal sports betting regime. 

Pele Law reforms have been proposed as the club presidents of Flamengo, Corinthians, Palmeiras, Sao Paulo, Santos and Red Bull Bragantino have threatened the Brazil Football Confederation (CFB) to form a breakaway top-flight division. 

The Club Presidents are unhappy with the stagnant revenues generated by the Liga Brasileiro and declining matchday audiences – and have demanded a new structure emulating European leagues to help optimise Brazilian football’s commercial capabilities.

The Chamber of Deputies has been urged to implement Pele Law amendments ahead of the passage of Brazil’s approved Sports Betting regime, that is currently at a standstill at the behest of President Jair Bolsonaro.

Though approved by both Congress and the Ministry of Finance, the federal passage of  sports betting regime has been stalled by the Liberal Party who will not launch any gambling marketplace until Brazil settles its General Election results in October.

Of significance, President Bolsonaro seeks further amendments to the regime to ensure that foreign bookmakers are domiciled in Brazil in order to pay all corporate taxes.


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