Payments of fixed-odds betting is regulated in Brazil

Payments of fixed-odds betting is regulated in Brazil

The Secretariat of Prizes and Betting (SPA) of the Ministry of Finance published an Ordinance with general rules on payment transactions carried out by virtual or physical fixed-odds betting operators in Brazil, following its Regulatory Agenda for 2024, previously commented by our TMT area. 

Normative Ordinance SPA/MF 615/2024 is already in force, establishing rules on contributions and withdrawals of financial resources, payment of prizes, as well as definitions and rules applicable to the different types of accounts defined: registered, graphic, proprietary and transactional. This initiative is part of Phase I of the SPA Agenda, scheduled for completion in April 2024.

The exclusive method for contributions and withdrawals of financial resources by bettors, as well as for prize payments, is the electronic transfer between a registered account of the bettor and the transactional account of the operating agent.

Both accounts must be:

(i) a deposit or prepaid payment account;

(ii) held in financial institutions authorized to operate by the Central Bank of Brazil. In addition, there must be separation between the funds of bettors in transactional accounts and the equity of the betting operator.

The amounts in transactional accounts cannot be subject to search and seizure or other judicial restraints related to debts of the betting operator. Such amounts also do not qualify as assets of the operator for bankruptcy purposes and cannot be offered as collateral for debts of the betting operator.

Graphic accounts are defined as virtual accounts made available by the operating agent in the betting system for each bettor to manage their bets and financial resources.

Proprietary accounts, in turn, are a prepaid deposit or payment account, owned and freely moved by the operating agent, maintained in a financial institution or by a payment institution authorized to operate by the Central Bank of Brazil, being used to cover operating expenses and for liquidity management.

The Ordinance allows the following types of electronic transfer:

  • PIX;
  • TED;
  • Debit card;
  • Pre-paid credit card;
  • Book transfer for accounts maintained in the same institution.

The following types of financial contributions are forbidden:

  • Cash
  • Boletos
  • Checks
  • Virtual or cryptoassets
  • Payments or transfers originating from accounts not previously registered by the bettor 
  • Payments or transfers by third parties
  • Credit cards or other post-paid payment instruments 
  • Any other form of electronic transfer not authorized in the Ordinance.

The fixed-odds betting operator is forbidden from:

  • Releasing bets without prior settlement of the bettors financial contribution;
  • Offering bonus or previous advantages for placing bets, in any form, even if by way of promotion, advance, anticipation;
  • Establishing partnerships or other similar arrangements to facilitate access to credit or commercial development by bettors;
  • Promoting or allow access, whether through its physical or electronic channels, to people who grant credit or commercial development to bettors.

The operator has the following obligations, among others arising from the Ordinance:

  • To implement policies to manage exposure to liquidity risks;
  • To constitute a preventive financial reserve for possible insolvency or lack of liquidity, in the minimum amount of 5 million reais, separate from transactional accounts and other proprietary accounts owned by the operating agent.

In general, the new SPA Ordinance draws a lot of attention to the protection of resources and to good faith in transfers, including concerns with adequate maintenance and with patrimonial separation of accounts. In this context, a desire to minimally protect the fixed-odds betting environment from possible fraud against bettors in the area of payments is perceived. The subject is still very new in Brazil and additional regulations are still pending.

The TMT – Technology, Media and Telecommunications team of Azevedo Sette Advogados follows the development of the topic and is available for questions and contributions.