Brazil soccer teams want a slice of the online betting action

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Posted: June 27, 2022, 5:49 a.m.

Last update: June 27, 2022, 10:43 a.m.

Sports betting and online gambling continue to be hot topics in Brazil, although legislative cohesion on how to do this has stalled. When and if progress is made, football teams want a cut in revenue.

Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team celebrates a goal against Uruguay in the 2020 World Cup. The country’s football teams want to receive part of the revenue from betting operators. (Picture: Marca)

Previous estimates put the Brazilian sports betting market at around 25 billion reais ($4.8 billion) per year. As such, football clubs believe there is enough money to shop around and make a compelling case.

Last week, 15 clubs met with the Chamber of Deputies for a new round of debates on updating the Pelé Law, Brazil’s general sports law. One of the topics of the meeting was the allocation of a portion of online gaming revenue to teams.

At this meeting, the clubs presented a paragraph of amendment to the Pelé law which grants them royalties. They explained that the economic return of betting data in the betting market is enough to generate revenue sharing for those who actually have the right to produce the data.

In other words, under the current legislative framework and similar to what is seen elsewhere, a bookmaker can put a team’s logo on their website. However, in return, he does not pay for his use, even if he generates income thanks to this mark.

A plan fit for royalty

A recent survey showed that 28% of the Brazilian population has made some sort of sports bet. He also indicated that 31% of respondents spend between R$1 and R$20 (US$0.19 and US$3.81). Fluminense, Flamengo, Palmeiras, Gremio and Corinthians fans spent the most.

The specific article of the Pelé law that can be updated for the benefit of clubs is 42. It states that “The right to the playing field belongs to sports entities, consisting of the exclusive prerogative to negotiate, authorize or ‘prohibit the capture, fixation, emission, transmission or reproduction of images by any means or process of a sporting event in which they participate’.

The clubs found support for their initiative in a key person. They convinced the rapporteur of the Pelé law in the Chamber of Deputies, MP Felipe Carreras, to speed up an update of the text to adapt it to their wishes.

The eSports ecosystem finds a friend

In addition to considering changes to Pelé’s law regarding income distribution, the Brazilian Senate is analyzing a bill to allocate lottery funds to esports athletes. Senator Rosa de Freitas drafted the initiative, which provides for the inclusion of the Brazilian Confederation of Electronic Sports (CBDEL, for its Portuguese acronym) in the national sports system.

The measure would update the Pelé Law (9615/98) to include the entity in charge of the administration of electronic sports in Brazil. It would also change a four-year-old law that deals with where lottery collection proceeds go. If lawmakers were to approve it, 0.04% of the resources would go to promoting eSports programs and projects.

The proposal includes an allowance for the training and technical preparation, maintenance and mobility of athletes. It also devotes resources to promoting participation in sporting events.

Currently, both changes are in focus, but no clear progress. Additionally, unless the Brazilian Senate accepts legal sports betting, implementing any of the changes will be a long ordeal.

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