The Provisional Measure 1.182/23, published on 25 July, amends significant points of Law 13.756/18, which regulates the operation of the lottery of fixed-quota bets by the Union, such as sports betting. The aim is to create clearer rules for the functioning of the betting market in the country.
Although it modifies several provisions of Law 13,756/18, MP 1,182/23 does not yet regulate the betting market, which remains pending. For example, there is no express rule on how the Ministry of Finance will grant the authorization to operate companies in the sector in the country.
As a possible response to the criminal investigations initiated at the beginning of the year to investigate the practice of sports corruption in football matches (which constitutes a crime, in the form of Articles 41-C, 41-D, and 41-E of the Law 12.299/10), MP 1.182/23 also brings new devices to prevent practices of manipulation of sporting events by the betting market.
The provisional measure on sports betting prohibits the partner or controlling shareholder of a fixed-quota lottery operating company - individual or part of a control agreement - from holding a direct or indirect stake in a football corporation or in a professional sports organization, as well as prohibiting the person in these conditions from acting as a leader of a Brazilian sports team (art. 33-C).
The measure also requires the betting operator to adopt security and integrity mechanisms in performing lottery of fixed quota bets (art. 33-D), establishing the following measures:
- The sporting events linked to bets will have actions to mitigate the manipulation of results and corruption by the operating agent in the real sports event (art. 33-D, §1º);
- The operating agent shall be part of a national or international sports integrity monitoring body (article 33-D, paragraph 2);
- The Ministry of Finance may determine the suspension or prohibition, to all operating agents, of bets on intercurrent or specific events, occurring during the race or the match, other than the specific prognosis of the final result (article 33-D, paragraph 3); and
- The operating agent shall report suspected manipulation events to the Ministry of Finance within five working days, counted from the moment the operating agent became aware of the suspicious event (article 33-D, paragraph 4).
These measures are relevant to repress sports manipulation beyond the criminal sphere, as they create civil/administrative obligations to prevent these crimes in the betting market. The application of these measures is conditioned, however, to a pending regulation from the Ministry of Finance.
MP 1.182/23 reinforces that, although pending specific regulation, the practice of sports betting is no longer a criminal offense in the country, to the extent that there is a permissive norm of conduct. Thus, Article 50 of the Decree-Law 3.688/41 it may no longer be applied to punish such conduct.
However, this interpretation does not extend to other bets – such as casinos and other gambling – which remain formally classified as a criminal offense by Article 50 of Decree-Law 3,688/41. In any case, the typicality of the conduct of establishing and exploiting gambling may have its unconstitutionality recognized by the Federal Supreme Court in the context of the judgment of Extraordinary Appeal 966.177/RS, whose extraordinary repercussion has already been recognized (Theme 924 – reception of article 50 of Decree-Law 3.688/41 in view of the Constitution of the Republic of 1988).
Also pending approval is the bill that provides for the legalization of gambling and the reopening of casinos in the country (PL 186/14). The project contemplates the game of the animal; video bingo and video games; Bingos; casinos in integrated leisure complexes; sports and non-sports betting; and online casinos. In addition, there is a provision for accreditation for the exploitation of the game of bingo and video bingo for 20 years and casinos for 30 years, both of which can be renewed for the same period.