Rio Loterj completes betting plans as first tender handed to Rede Loto

Rio Loterj completes betting plans as first tender handed to Rede Loto

Sports betting has finally touched down in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, ahead of federal regulation expected this year, with the State Lottery (Loterj) issuing its first contact.

The tender has been awarded to Rede Loto, a company based in the neighbouring state of São Paulo. The contract covers a five-year period with a licence fee of R$5m (€948,978).

Rio de Janeiro’s debut sports betting licence is omni-channel in nature, covering points of sale including retail outlets and sports bars, and is subject to a 5% tax on gross gaming revenue (GGR).

Hazenclever Lopes Cançado, Loterj President, said: “Since I took over the management in July last year, I had the objective of publishing the Accreditation Notice for Sports Betting. 

“We achieved more than that. We have the first company accredited and ready to operate in our country. I appreciate the unconditional support of the Governor Cláudio Castro and the Secretary of the Civil House, Nicola Miccione, who believed in the project. Thank you very much for trusting in the work and dedication of our entire Loterj team.”

Rede Loto was subject to an auditing process during the application which examined its ability to meet the technical and legal requirements of the licence. This included promotion of safer gambling, countering fraud, anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing.

However, sports betting in Rio de Janeiro, the third largest state in Brazil after São Paulo and Minas Gerais with a population of nearly 16 million, is not exclusive to the company.

Loterj’s Accreditation Notice allows any other company interested in securing a sports betting contract to register and apply for an accreditation.

Brazil currently lacks a regulatory framework for sports betting at the federal level, although progress has been made under the new government of President Lula da Silva. 

The President and Ministry of Finance have proposed a ‘provisional measure’ setting out tax, sports integrity, advertising and safer gambling caveats of a federal betting and gaming regulatory system.

It is still not all smooth sailing for prospective Brazilian bookmakers, however. Arthur Lira, the President of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, has argued that introduction of federal sports betting should be put to the legislature as a constitutional matter, meaning another potential delay.

In the absence of a national regime for sports betting, state authorities interested in opening their markets to the industry have sometimes taken matters into their own hands, with Rio de Janeiro becoming the first to approve an operator.

Loterj first began its tender to secure a sports betting operator back in May 2021, and made a pledge to issue its first licence by the end of the year in February 2023. With the signing of a contract with Rede Loto, the lottery has achieved this objective.

The state was not the only one to eye up sports betting opportunities though, as Minas Gerais’ Loteria Mineira (LEMG) also began to explore opportunities earlier this year.

SBC News Rio Loterj completes betting plans as first tender handed to Rede Loto

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