Fantasy Sports, Esports Legislation in Brazil Takes a Step Forward In

The eSports industry is one of the fastest-growing, particularly as an added component in the sports betting ecosystem. In Brazil, there is a substantially high interest in the activity and new legislation hopes to clarify the role it, as well as fantasy sports, plays in the economy.

Gamers and spectators attend an eGaming event at the HyperX Arena in Las Vegas. eSports continues to expand globally and Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies approved legislation last week that will help. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies approved the legal framework for the electronic and fantasy games industry last week. The legislation’s goal is to establish the parameters for electronic games and fantasy sports.

This could then pave the way for their inclusion in the larger sports ecosystem, possibly including sports betting and recognition as a sport. Currently, there is no federal law governing eSports and eSports athletes, but the bill can push the topic in the right direction.

Changes Long Overdue

The Brazilian Association of Fantasy Sports (ABFS, for its Portuguese acronym) highlighted that the legislation is recognition of a sector that is long overdue. eSports activity generates taxes and jobs, and provides an annual turnover of almost R$70 million (US$13.3 million) in Brazil.

The legislation would allow professional eSports to follow the national and international standards adopted by the governing bodies of the sport. However, this initiative excludes games with content that is violent, of a sexual nature, or that spreads messages of hate or the use of drugs.

Initially, the text referred only to console and PC games, leaving aside the software available in applications that can be downloaded on mobile devices or that run off an online platform. As the discussion by legislators continued, they finally reached the conclusion that the bill fell short of providing the necessary oversight they expected.

Legislators also realized that eSports competitions, similarly to traditional sports, are a means of socialization and learning. Supporters in the Chamber of Deputies argued that eSports participation can help improve intellectual capacity and strengthen reasoning and motor skills.

Electronic games are today one of the fastest-growing segments of the entertainment industry. We are talking about generating employment and income with an industry of the present, since Brazil is the 13th market in the world,” said bill sponsor and Deputy Kim Kataguiri.

The approval will help lay the foundation for robust eSports and fantasy sports markets in Brazil. It could also lead to direct investments in the segment. Backers will likely feel more comfortable with legislation that supports them.

For Kataguiri, the project will guarantee the development of the gaming sector and generate jobs. He also anticipates that it will reduce crime, such as importation without paying taxes, and reduce the tax burden on the development of games.

Brazil Presidential Runoff This Weekend

The countdown to the runoff election to determine Brazil’s next president continues. The sitting president, Jair Bolsonaro, faces a tough opponent in Luiz Inácio da Silva, and could lose his place.

The two politicians were always the clear favorite to lead the country. The arrival of the runoff election was no surprise, as da Silva has continued to pressure Bolsonaro’s control. He led prior to the first election and still does today.

The former president has been the frontrunner to take over in several polls. Even on betting exchanges, he’s getting most of the support. Smarkets has him at 59.52%, compared to 42.37% for Bolsonaro.

A change at the Palácio da Alvorada, the official residence of Brazil’s president, could have implications for the gambling industry. Bolsonaro has been staunchly against virtually any expansion, although he knows sports betting is coming.

On the other hand, da Silva, while not overwhelmingly supportive, has shown more flexibility. The runoff election will be held on October 30, just in time for Halloween.

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