Bolsonaro pledges to come through on sports regulation, Belgium lowers loss limits, Gibraltar shakes up its fee structure, and Albania aims to legalize sports betting this winter.
Bolsonaro promises Brazil will regulate sports betting
Brazil’s hotly anticipated sports betting regulations have been waiting just out of reach, time and again pushed just a little further back.
While the law legalizing sports betting was passed years ago, the regulations themselves have lingered in legal limbo. The right-leaning evangelical contingent of the country’s Chamber of Deputies remains steadfastly opposed to any form of gambling, and President Jair Bolsonaro announced that the regulations would only be finalized after the country’s general election, letting a leader with a fresh mandate make the final call.
But in the lead-up to the runoff between Bolsonaro and rival candidate Lula da Silva, Bolsonaro has announced that he would go ahead and sign the regulations, though casino gaming remains completely out of the question.
A piece of legislation had previously been entered into the Chamber of Deputies to legalize casino gaming, and the president had made it clear that the Chamber would have to override his veto.
Also, while casino gaming is nowhere in sight, the Chamber has passed a law recognizing fantasy sports as a game of skill.
Belgium loss limit
Belgium is continuing with its gambling sector reforms.
The country has lowered its loss limit from €500 to €200 per week per site. It’s possible for players to request a higher or lower limit, but the Belgium Gaming Commission recommends players keep their spending to no more than 5% of their income.
This comes after two other measures to curb problem gambling; the maximum number of online betting licenses was lowered to 30, and a law was proposed to ban all forms of gambling advertising.
Gibraltar switches to a tiered fee system
Gibraltar has long had an upstanding reputation as an iGaming licensing authority. With its stringent application process and strict requirements, a Gibraltar license is a true stamp of quality for online casinos.
But one barrier between operators and the coveted Gibraltar insignia has long been the steep licensing fee.
Authorities in Gibraltar have now announced the implementation of a tiered fee schedule in place of the previous one-size-fits-all fee. Moving forward, larger companies will pay higher fees, while smaller companies will pay lower ones.
The new system will be based on the operator’s annual gross gaming yield, depending on which vertical the company trades in. The move comes from the government’s recognition that the previous £100,000 flat fee inhibited growth for newer businesses.
The reform comes after authorities moved to require licensees to establish a local presence. Gibraltar was also placed on the Financial Action Task Force’s greylist for alleged money laundering prevention failures.
Albania plans to re-regulate
Albania should soon see the return of its regulated sports betting market.
In a recent statement, Prime Minister Edi Rama requested that the country’s parliament establish a sports betting regime (gambling was banned in the country in 2018). A decree signed by a number of sports organizations estimates that the legalization of sports betting could generate as much as €17 million in additional tax revenue, most of which would go to sporting and cultural programs.
Sports betting is expected to be legal again starting from January 1, 2023. Some local news sources reported over the summer that the government was considering legalization in order to generate funds to subsidize fuel prices this winter.