Brazilian football clubs have unified in protest against amendments endorsed by the Senate Sports Committee review of the Federal Sports Betting and Online Gambling Bill – PL 3626/2023. .
Yesterday, 34 Brazilian professional football clubs, including those from the Brazilian Football League (Libra) and the Liga Forte União (LFU), signed a petition urging the Senate to reject Amendment 38-U. This amendment, backed by the sports committee, proposes a ban on sports betting sponsorships.
Championed by Senator Eduardo Girão, the amendment aims to prohibit sports betting sponsorships from being activated by professional teams, individual athletes, and sports championships.
As detailed by the amendment’s text: ‘Teams, individual athletes, former athletes, referees, members of professional and amateur technical committees of all sports, as well as championships organized by Olympic sports confederations, recognized and linked to the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB), and the federations affiliated with them of all sports modalities’ will be excluded from gambling sponsorships.”
Furthermore, the amendment includes restrictions on broadcast and social media advertising of sports betting to specific times (midnight to 6am) and bans advertisements in sports arenas and through team or tournament sponsorships.
Issuing a unified response, Brazilian clubs argue that the ban would cause significant economic damage to all levels of professional football by excluding a primary source of income for Brazilian football and potentially interfering with existing contracts.
Currently, of the 40 teams playing in Brazil’s Serie A and B leagues, 39 have already signed a sponsorship/partnership with an online gambling brand.
“The Clubs request that the Economic Affairs Commission and the Plenary of this respectful Senate reject the harmful Amendment No. 38-U to PL No. 3,626/2023, thereby protecting Brazilian football and the principles of free enterprise and freedom to contract.”
The Sports Committee has been ordered to explain why it has endorsed an amendment that would obstruct football clubs from generating income from Brazil’s new gambling marketplace.
Football clubs in Serie A and B Leagues have pledged their commitment to safe and moderated sports betting sponsorships, for which they await guidelines and standards from the federal advertising agency CONAR.
In previous discussions related to sports betting, CBF, the Football Confederation of Brazil, demanded that the government guarantee a ‘4% share of gross revenues to be distributed across its football leagues’. This demand was rejected by the PT government, which settled on legislative modalities in July.
Following a review by the Chamber of Deputies in September, Bill PL 3626/2023 was formalised and submitted to the Senate for approval to become federal law.
As such, Senate committees have been tasked with reviewing the Bill’s sports betting and online gambling laws ‘within a 120-day period’.
Although separate amendments have been proposed, the Bill is yet to receive its key authorization from the Senate’s Economic Affairs Committee and will require a settlement on its legislative schedule by the Senate’s Assembly.
The PT government continues to prepare for the launch of the federal online gambling marketplace. Last month, the Ministry of Finance published its ‘required ordinances‘ for businesses seeking to join the market.
Prospective operators have been granted a window of 30 days, or until 26 November, to submit notice of interest in applying for a federal online gambling licence.”