Brazil’s federal government has announced its plans to regulate the country's sports betting industry after a series of allegations of match-fixing by soccer players from the top-tier Brasileirao Série A and second-tier Série B. 

A provisional notice has been published on the government’s website outlining the proposed rules and measures drafted by the finance ministry that “will guarantee more confidence and security for bettors, thanks to the transparency of the rule and supervision.”

The proposal will now engage multiple ministries, including planning, management, health, tourism, and sports, to ensure that transparency and supervision measures will maintain public confidence and safeguard consumers.

The measures include establishing a new industry secretariat by the finance ministry. The new body will have responsibility for approving betting companies’ accreditations and monitoring the volume of bets and revenue, ensuring greater control over the fixed-quota sports betting market.

Once established, only accredited operators will be legally permitted to accept wagers related to official sporting events, while unlicensed operators will be banned from advertising their services, including across digital media.

A 16% gross gaming revenue (GGR) tax on gambling operators has also been proposed, with the tax calculated as the “revenue obtained from all games played, minus the prizes paid to players.”

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The funds collected from the 16% GGR tax will be used to support “various critical organizations”, including public welfare, basic education, sports clubs, and social projects.

Specifically, 2.55% of the funds will be used to aid the National Fund for Public Security in its efforts against match-fixing, money laundering, and other betting-related crimes. Education, meanwhile, will be boosted with 0.82% of the funds, while 1.63% will go towards sports clubs.

A 10% portion of the GGR tax will be reserved for social security and welfare projects, while the sports ministry will receive 1% of the tax funds.

The proposal also recommends taxing player prizes at 30%, with an exemption limit of BZR2112 ($430), which will be distributed across sectors such as public safety, basic education, sports clubs, and social initiatives.

Companies within the betting industry will also be required to conduct awareness and gambling disorder prevention campaigns to maintain a healthy betting environment to mitigate the risk of betting addiction.

The betting industry’s communication, advertising, and marketing rules will be established alongside the National Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (CONAR) to encourage responsible and ethical marketing practices.

The proposals have been forwarded to the co-author ministries – planning, management, health, tourism, and sports. After being evaluated by and signed by the ministers, the proposal will be forwarded to the Civil House, before being submitted to president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The regulation plans come after Brazil’s Minister of Justice Flavio Dino ordered federal police to launch an investigation into match-fixing in the country.

The order follows evidence unearthed during a state investigation, dubbed ‘Maximum Penalty Operation’, which named 16 people alleged to have manipulated the results of 13 soccer matches – eight during the top-tier 2022 Serie A Championship, one from the second-tier 2022 Serie B competition, and four 2023 state championship matches – to favor sports betting.

The investigation found criminal groups had been offering players up to BZR150,000 to commit specific acts – committing a penalty, receiving a card, or collaborating to ensure their team's defeat – during matches to profit bettors on websites including Bet365 and Betano. 

The first complaint came at the end of last year, when a Vila Nova player accepted BZR150,000 to commit a penalty against Sport Recife during a Serie B match, pocketing BZR10,000 initially, with the rest to be received if the plan worked. However, the player was not included in the match.

The story reached Hugo Jorge Bravo, president of the Goiás team (now playing in Serie A), and a military policeman, who sought evidence and handed it over to the state Public Ministry. The Maximum Penalty Operation was then launched.