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Exclusive Interview: Simone Vicentini, achievements and challenges in Brazil's Gaming Regulation

Thursday 23 May 2024 / 12:00

2 minutos de lectura

(São Paulo, Exclusive SoloAzar) - In an enriching interview with SoloAzar, Simone Vicentini, who was in charge of the Secretariat of Prizes and Gaming (SPA) in the Undersecretariat of Prizes and Gaming of the Ministry of Finance since its creation by Decree No. 11.907 on January 30, 2014 until her departure on May 2, 2024, shared the achievements reached during her management, the difficulties faced and her perspectives on the future of the regulation in Brazil.

Exclusive Interview: Simone Vicentini, achievements and challenges in Brazil's Gaming Regulation

Simone Vicentini is a lawyer specialised in Constitutional and Administrative Law. In this article, she clarifies and sets in order the achievements obtained during her tenure in the Brazilian gambling regulation. 

During her administration, important regulations for fixed odds betting were implemented, including the authorisation of certifying entities for betting systems, live gaming studios and online gaming. He details that “these regulations were formalised by Ordinance SPA/MF 300 of 23 February 2024, and the discipline of payout operations was established in Ordinance SPA/MF 615 of 14 April 2024. In addition, the Regulatory Policy was instituted and the Regulatory Agenda for the financial year 2024 was made public by Ordinance SPA/MF 561 of 8 April 2024.’”

She added that “between February and April 2024, three betting system certifying entities were recognised for their technical capacity by the SPA. During this period, drafts of the other Ordinances that make up Phase I of the SPA*'s Regulatory Agenda 2024, focusing on Gambling Systems and Authorisation, were completed and submitted to the PGFN*."

Prior to the creation of the SPA, the undersecretary was General Coordinator of Lotteries, where she worked on the formulation and approval of Provisional Measure 1.182 and Bill 3.626 of 25 July 2023. In relation to this, Simone clarifies that “these efforts culminated in the sanction of Law 14.790, of 30 December 2023, which initiated the regulation of fixed odds betting in Brazil, a process pending since the publication of Law 13.756 in 2018.”

The undersecretary also highlighted the importance of the broad debate promoted on gambling regulation with civil society, members of the National Congress, operators and other gambling market stakeholders. This experience was essential for the elaboration of the regulatory framework for the commercial exploitation of fixed odds betting in Brazil.

What impact do you think your mandate has had on the online gambling and betting sector in Brazil?

All the structuring of the regulation of sports betting and online gambling was carried out during my time as General Coordinator of Lotteries, prior to the creation of the SPA, and as Acting Secretary of Prizes and Betting, as well as my active participation in the approval of Law 14.790 of 2023, which resulted in the initiation of the subsidy application procedure published today, through SPA/MF Ordinance 827 of 21 May 2014.

It is important to note that all the work on the regulation of fixed odds betting started in 2023, even before the creation of the Secretariat for Prizes and Gambling:

- publication of Regulatory Ordinance MF 1330 of 26 October 2023, containing the general rules for the commercial operation of betting on national territory, requirements of the policy of prevention, surveillance and combating the practice of criminal offences, as well as immediately effective rules aimed at the protection of players, the advertising of bets and responsible gambling;
- implementation of a Prior Expression of Interest procedure for obtaining a federal licence, in which 134 companies participated;
- development of the Gambling Management System - SIGAP, where applications for federal licences will be filed and the data necessary for the monitoring of operations by the SPA inspection team and other competent public bodies will be sent;
- elaboration of the proposal for the creation of the Prizes and Gambling Secretariat, to be established in January 2024, and its respective structure and legal competences.

- drafting the proposal for the creation of the Secretariat for Prizes and Gambling, to be created in January 2024, and its respective legal structure and competences.

In addition to the activities aimed at the regulation of sports betting and online gaming, I led the activities and the team of the General Coordination of Lotteries, related to the authorisation and supervision of the federal public lottery service.
The structuring of the regulation of fixed odds betting in Brazil is included in the Regulatory Agenda 2024 of the SPA, published under my management (Ordinance SPA/MF 561, of 8 April 2024, which institutes the Regulatory Policy and makes public the Regulatory Agenda for the year 2024).

Why do you think it is so difficult to reach consensus on clear rules and regulations for the online gambling and betting sector?

Consensus, in any society, is a difficult goal to reach, as there are always groups for and against certain points of regulation, and regulation itself. 
However, the democratic approach of listening to all stakeholders and industry representatives, together with the technical studies underpinning the rules issued and the commitment and efficiency of the team, are effective tools to ensure regulation that is safe, effective, accountable and compatible with international best practice.

Finally, how do you see the future of online gambling and betting regulation in Brazil?

The gambling and betting market in Brazil has grown exponentially. It is an important sector of the economy, often generating revenue, jobs, income and other benefits for the country. 
In the first quarter of 2024, there was an increase of 34% in the sector's hiring, demonstrating the enormous potential of the Brazilian market, which today is already one of the largest in the world in terms of number of bets.
There will be countless challenges for the government and for the market, especially in the adoption of essential measures for responsible gambling and the prevention, control and fight against crime and illegal gambling, issues that must be addressed as a priority. 
At this point, I believe in the effectiveness of the responsible public bodies and in the commitment of the operators to the required integrity and compliance policies and to the implementation of serious and effective responsible gambling and fraud and crime prevention policies.

*SPA:  Betting and Prizes Secretary in its original
*PGCN: Attorney General's Office in its original

Categories: Exclusive

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Region: Europa

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