According to the radio service for the Senate Radio Senado the Senate Plenary has approved the creation of the “Parliamentary Front for a Brazil without Gambling”.
Created by Senator Eduardo Girão, the group formed by both senators and deputies will promote debates and adopt initiatives, such as bills that discourage gambling. Eduardo Senator Girão said that legalised gambling will lead to crimes, such as money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption of public officials.
“I visited countries, talked to the academic world, talked to inspection and control institutions inside and outside Brazil, and I was appalled by what is behind it: a very powerful lobby that destroys entire lives and families. Who doesn’t know someone who has already lost everything with gambling and ended his own life?” he said.
Meanwhile Senator Jorge Kajuru said research showed that compulsive gamblers were more likely to commit suicide and commit crimes to support their addiction.
“The practice of gambling is a harmful activity both for players and society in general, leading to losses that go far beyond the financial sphere, also affecting people’s health, increasing crime and destroying families, so that the institution of the Parliamentary Front for a Brazil without Gambling will contribute to combating the spread of this practice in our country.”
However long time supporter of opening up the market Senator Angelo Coronel voted against the creation of the group citing economic gains, such as the creation of jobs and increased tax collection that would result in a legalised gambling industry.
“Being against the legalization of games in Brazil is a setback. We have to face games as an economic activity, so we can no longer give up the legalization of games that are already freely played, both via electronic games and betting on electronic betting platforms. Not R$1 in tax enters Brazil and we can no longer live in this modern world without legalizing gambling in Brazil,” he said
The regulation of games of chance in Brazil is still pending debate in the Senate. Bill 442/1991 was passed by the House of Deputies in January and replaces and is in part an amalgamation of as many as twenty other gambling related projects all of which have been discussed since 1991. The bill allows for casinos, bingo halls, the so called “Jogo do Bicho” or “Animal Game” and online gaming. Several senators have already spoken out against the initiative, saying that the liberalisation of the market will lead to social harm. Indeed both Senators Eduardo Girão and Jorge Kajuru criticised the bill as soon as it was forwarded to the Senate. Senator Eduardo Girão said that the Chamber of Deputies had made a “hasty” decision and that the Senate needed to reverse it. Meanwhile Senator Jorge Kajuru said that the topic was “controversial” and required “wide discussion.”