The State of Rio de Janeiro’s Permanent Bidding Committee – LOTERJ – has formally postponed the state’s tender bidding process for sports betting and other games.
The plenary of the Court of Accounts of the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro (TCE/RJ) ruled unanimously to support the decision of Andrea Siqueira Martins, Deputy Councillor of the Rio de Janeiro State Audit Court. Siqueira Martins postponed the offer on July 5th, while Counselor Marianna Montebello Willemman proposed many solutions and suggested that more research into a new bidding method might be required.
LOTERJ issued a public call for proposals in May for a company to provide a wide range of lottery products throughout the state, including instant lotteries and fixed-odds sports betting (online or on the ground). As part of a consortium, companies could submit a bid. If the consortium consisted of both international and Brazilian enterprises, the Brazilian company would have to be the most invested. The contract for the supply of services is for five years and is projected to be worth roughly US$49.5 million.
Only the LottoRio consortium, comprised of MCE Representaçes and Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML), submitted a tender application. Andrea Siqueira Martins also granted an injunction suspending the procurement after a consortium consisting of IGT do Brasil and Scientific Games filed a plea with the court just three days before the bidding process was set to begin. The consortium claimed that the licensing requirements were riddled with inconsistencies that harmed competition.
Rio de Janeiro was one of the first states to announce that it will pursue plans to offer sports betting in addition to other ambitions to develop and grow their own lottery products. The Brazilian Supreme Court declared in September 2020 that the federal government’s lottery monopoly was unconstitutional, allowing states to create state lotteries for each of Brazil’s 26 states and one federal district as long as they followed federal regulations.
As a result of the decision, current lottery operators will be able to expand their offers, while states will be able to launch their own lottery products within their own borders. Alexandre Knoploch, a state deputy, submitted legislation in March allowing the state lottery to offer sports betting. Sportsbetting would be promoted by the state of Rio de Janeiro and would be offered both online and through lottery outlets, with an emphasis on internet sales.