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Brazil Government Sets December Deadline for Gaming License Applications!

Gaming operators active in Brazil must secure a gaming license by the end of 2024 or face penalties from 1 January 2025, according to the latest nominative ordinance published by the country’s government.

Normative Ordinance 827 was published in Brazil’s Official Diary of the Union on Tuesday (21 May), sets out the requirements for those hoping to secure sports betting and gaming licenses in Brazil. 

It kicks off an “adjustment period” in which gaming operators active in Brazil have until 31 December 2024 to comply with the regulatory framework for sports betting and igaming. Companies’ applications submitted within 90 days of Ordinance 827’s release will be prioritized for assessment.

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Authorized operators will be granted a license lasting five years, once a BRL30m (£4.6m/€5.4m/$5.9m) fee is paid, and able to offer gambling via three skins.

Those that fail to secure a license by that cutoff date will face penalties from 1 January, 2025.

The ordinance comes as the Ministry of Finance works its way through the process to finalize regulations, with a four-stage process underway.

While some sources suggested the government aimed to issue licences in the fourth quarter of the year with a plan to launch in January 2025, others argued this timeline was far too ambitious, expecting delays. The ordinance setting out how operators must apply was originally expected in April.

Following the Ordinance, one lawyer admitted the timeline was “daunting”. However the Ministry believes it is achievable, they added, supported by a higher headcount at the Secretariat of Prizes and Bets (SPA). 

“My expectation is to see significant increase in the workforce at the authority in the upcoming weeks to meet the deadline,” they explained. “This happened before in other industries such as finance.”

Who is eligible for Brazil sports betting and gaming licenses?

Licence applicants must be headquartered on Brazilian soil. Foreign companies will still be eligible, but with a local subsidiary in which a Brazilian owns at least 20% of the share capital. 

What this actually means for operators remains up for discussion with experts unclear on how these arrangements will work in practice. The lack of new information on this requirement is disappointing, one lawyer said, and hoped for additional guidance from the Ministry.

This setup would need to be established before the operator applies for its licence, as any merger, split or change in corporate control would prompt a review of a licence by the Secretariat of Prizes and Bets (SPA).

What must operators prove to secure a Brazil gaming license?

As with regulations in many other countries, companies must provide documentation proving they are legally qualified to operate in Brazil, including identification and registration forms for controlling entities. They must also submit a declaration of compliance with payments regulations, supported by certification from the Central Bank of Brazil. 

The businesses will also have to provide a joint certificate from the Special Secretariat of Federal Revenue and the Attorney General’s Office of the National Treasury to show they are registered to pay tax in the country.

All key personnel and financial beneficiaries must also have a clean criminal record, with no bankruptcies, tax evasion or embezzlement convictions. 

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