Brazil: self-regulatory code introduces TV sports betting advertising restrictions

Senator Tebet is known to be opposed to the regulation of gambling.
Senator Tebet is known to be opposed to the regulation of gambling.

A new group has drawn up a code for self-regulation ahead of the launch of federally regulated sports betting in Brazil.

Brazil.- The Brazilian Institute for Responsible Gaming (IBJR), a recently formed industry initiative, has published a code for advertising self-regulation as expectation mounts for the launch of federally regulated sports betting in Brazil. The Brazilian Code for Advertising Self-Regulation is the new body’s first major initiative.

The code’s measures include a ban on betting advertisements on TV in Brazil between 6am and 9pm in order to reduce exposure among minors and promote responsible communications from market launch. Gambling ads on TV would also be banned during and one hour before and after sporting events.

That move replicates a measure introduced by the Betting and Gaming Council in the UK and is intended to prevent the kind of backlash against gambling advertising that was seen in the Netherlands after its online gambling market launched in October 2021.

The code also requires operators to avoid using celebrities or influencers aged under 25 or who mainly appeal to minors. That also copies rules in force in the UK, where the Committees of Advertising Practice Code introduced a ban on such celebs in gambling ads last year. The Brazilian code also bans the use of betting logos on merchandise targeted at minors. Operators are encouraged to include responsible gambling messages in their communications.

The IBJR was formed in March. To date, members include bet365, Betsson GroupBetway GroupEntainFlutterKTO GroupNetbet Group, Rei do Pitaco and Yolo Group. All members have committed to follow the code and any further measures to come.

André Gelfi, president of the IBJR and managing partner for Betsson in Brazil, said: “The creation of appropriate windows of time for the broadcast of adverts for sports betting aims to reduce the access of minors to this type of content, avoiding their curiosity and desire to consume these types of entertainment products.

“The Code proposes guidelines for sports betting operators, agencies, and communication vehicles to participate in the promotion of this entertainment market to the Brazilian public, regardless of imminent regulation.”

Sports betting regulation in Brazil

The Brazilian Code for Advertising Self-Regulation is a sign that the industry has learned from experience and is keen to avoid repeating past controversies when the Brazilian market opens. The operators involved are taking proactive steps earlier than in other market launches, with Brazil’s sports betting regulations still yet to be signed off by president Lula da Silva.

Brazil legalised sports betting in 2018 but da Silva’s signature is needed on a decree that establishes regulatory matters including licence fees, penalties and the sports betting tax rate. It’s excepted that secondary legislation may introduce mandatory advertising restrictions.

Gelfi said: “All members of the IBJR have publicly committed to follow the code to demonstrate that it is possible to promote the sector in a responsible way towards bettors, operators, and government.”

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gambling regulation sports betting