SBC News Brazil SPA bans credit cards and bonuses from Bets payment framework

Brazil SPA bans credit cards and bonuses from Bets payment framework

New developments in Brazil see the Secretariat of Awards and Prizes (SPA) publish the ‘Normative Ordinances’ related to payment authorisations, required to establish the general rules that operators of sports betting and online gaming in the country must abide by for financial transactions.

Titled as ‘the Payment Ordinance‘, the framework dictates that deposits, withdrawals, and prize payments can only be made through electronic transfers, referencing the provisions of Pix, Available Electronic Transfer (TED), debit and prepaid cards, general bank transfers authorised by the Central Bank (BACEN).

Rules prevent licensed operators from accepting deposits via cash, bank slips, cheques, virtual assets such as cryptocurrencies. The ordinance further underlined a ban on all types of credit card transactions, which cannot be offered by the operator or their payment services providers.

The SPA emphasised that payment providers of licensed operators must be registered and accredited by BACEN, and not by any third party service.

The Payment Ordinance references Law No. 14.790 (Betting Law), as authorised by President Luiz Inácio da Silva in December 2023 – in which at present operators will not be allowed to offer customer sign-up incentives such as bonuses and free bets.

As referenced: “It is forbidden for the operating agent to grant, in any form, advancement, anticipation, bonus, or previous advantage, even if merely for promotion, dissemination, or advertising, for placing bets.”

Market rules will require payments and prizes to be paid to customers within a 120-minute window, counted from the moment the sporting event and/or the virtual game have finished.

As such, licensed operators must mandatorily implement policies for managing exposure to liquidity risks, to prevent companies from being unable to fulfil the inherent business activities and from daily tasks being negatively affected.

As detailed by SBCNoticias (Brazil): “Licensed operators of the Brazil Bets market must establish methodologies for calculating exposure limits that foresee processes to measure, monitor, and mitigate exposure to liquidity risk and have a contingency plan for additional resource sources. However, the stated policy will need to be reviewed and approved annually by the SPA’s administration.

All applicants to the Bets market must guarantee a minimum financial reserve of R$ 5 million (€900,000/$1m), kept in the form of federal public securities in a bank account separate from those used by the betting company.

The Payments Ordinance ratifies the provisions of Article 21 of the Betting Law, which prevents payment providers from allowing financial transactions to operators who do not have the authorisation of the Bets market. The SPA has established a period of six months for this prohibition to come into force. The deadline will be counted from the publication of a specific SPA regulation on the matter.

In February, the newly created SPA, which is part of the Ministry of Finance, published its list of Certified Testing Facilities, to help applicants establish the technical requirements and assurance of their betting systems and online games studios to be made available to market. The SPA announced GLI, eCOGRA, and BMM Testlabs as its authorised testing agents for the Bets market.

In April, the Ministry of Finance published the SPA Regulatory Policy. The document structures the regulatory agenda for the country’s fixed-odds betting and, as stated by the federal government, “provides legal certainty and ensures predictability and efficiency to the regulatory process, and thus solidifies the bases for a stable and trustworthy betting environment in Brazil.”

Today’s announcement sees the SPA fulfil the first phase of its ‘regulatory agenda’ to launch the Bets market in 2024. Stakeholders await for the Secretariat to publish further regulatory ordinances related to crime prevention, IT security and safer gambling duties, scheduled to be delivered by the end of July.

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