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Brazil – Deputies could keep online casinos in as bill returns to lower house this week

By - 18 December 2023

The leader of the government in the Chamber of Deputies, José Guimarães, said that deputies must vote in the plenary this week on the sports betting bill and that lawmakers could even change the approved text by the Senate and reintroduce online casinos as part of the bill.

The government’s initial estimate predicted a revenue impact of 1.65 billion reais in 2024 alone with the proposal, including taxes and fees, but the change approved by senators excluding online casino games from the text would cause a reduction in revenue of approximately 70% of this estimate, according to the bill’s rapporteur, Senator Ângelo Coronel.

Guimarães argued that the change in the Senate could have an impact on the government’s revenue.

“Next week we still have the project that we need to vote on, Monday or Tuesday, the ‘bets’ project, and our idea is to maintain the Chamber’s text and include casinos, because otherwise it will greatly reduce revenue,” he said.

The bill is a core part of the country’s economic policy, with the government hoping to raise up to 35.5 billion reais. It must to be approved by lawmakers by February 7, otherwise it will become invalid.

Meanwhile the President of the Chamber, Arthur Lira said on Friday (15) that deputies should vote this week on the government’s sports betting bill. Lira made the statements during a speech at the opening ceremony of the 2023 National Tourism Exhibition, in Brasília. A part of the funds generated by the newly regulated sports betting industry will be allocated to tourism.

“I wanted to pass on an agenda to all of you. We should look into it, and Celso (Sabino, Minister of Tourism) asked me, during this next week, about the vote on the regularization of online games, which is the starting point so that resources can also go to Tourism. .  .”  Arthur Lira argued that gambling was already a reality in Brazil but as it is currently unregulated it did not generate jobs, generate foreign exchange or any taxes.

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