Influencers Can’t Promote Gambling in Brazil Under New Law

Estimated read time 3 min read

Social media continues to come under greater scrutiny, especially for those who are into gambling promotion. Brazil could soon add its name to a growing list of countries that will marginalize gambling-linked influencers.

A user with his thumb hovering over the Twitch app icon on his mobile phone. Brazil looks to ban social media influencers from promoting unregulated gambling and betting platforms. (Image: Getty Images)

The Communication Committee of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies gave its nod to Bill 3915/2023 on Wednesday. The legislative proposal wants to impose stringent restrictions on digital influencers involved in the promotion of unregulated gambling.

This move, like a similar but more restrictive decision in France, comes as a response to the escalating concerns surrounding the adverse effects of gambling advertisements on social media platforms. It focuses primarily on the activity’s potential to negatively impact followers, especially the younger demographic.

The fear is that such promotions may lead to substantial financial losses and an inability to recover those losses. There’s also increasing concern that, in extreme cases, this could result in compromised mental health and even suicides.

Shifting Responsibilities

The bill outlines explicit guidelines for the placement of advertising. It emphasizes the responsibility of digital influencers to ensure that their content does not endorse or promote unregulated gambling activities.

Furthermore, it mandates that all advertising conducted by entities based abroad adheres to Brazilian law regarding billing and recognition. The scope of the measure encompasses all forms of publication on social networks, including videos, live streams, stories and other formats.

Internet application providers (Twitch, YouTube, TikTok and others) will also need to collaborate with authorities in monitoring and promptly removing content that violates the stipulations of the proposed law. They must establish channels for receiving complaints and respond promptly to cases of infringement.

Social Media Transformation Continues

This legislative initiative holds significant implications for the regulation of content disseminated by digital influencers, serving as a potential safeguard for social media users against potentially harmful advertising practices. The emphasis here is on the need for responsible propagation of content.

In cases of non-compliance with the proposed regulations, the bill outlines a range of sanctions. Among the possibilities are warnings and substantial fines that can amount to 2% of the legal entity’s revenue, capped at BRL50 million (US$10.18 million).

A violation could also lead to a permanent ban as an influencer. However, it isn’t clear how Brazil would enforce it.

The next phase involves the bill advancing to the Finance and Taxation Commission (CFT) and subsequently to the Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ). There, it will undergo further scrutiny before reaching a plenary vote.

As this legislative proposal progresses through the various stages of review, it could grow larger. It has the potential to set a significant precedent in the control of content by digital influencers everywhere.

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