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Brazil – Much wider gambling bill still possible

By - 4 December 2023

The president of the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Commission (CCJ), Senator Davi Alcolumbre announced that a bill which allows for a much wider gambling expansion would remain on the commission’s agenda.

Certain proposals caused disagreements in the committee so the senator said that he would try and find consensus on these issue including over bill PL 2234/23 in the coming weeks.

Last week it was revealed that Senator Davi Alcolumbre had appointed Senator Irajá as the rapporteur of gambling bill PL 2234/23. The draft of the law, which aims to allow for large scale casinos and other types of gambling, was sent to the Senate for discussion in May by the President of the Senate Rodrigo Pacheco. The bill (PL 442/91) was passed in the lower house and is now in the senate under the name draft Law No. 2234/2022. The text replaces as many as 20 other gambling related projects all of which have been discussed over many years.

The bill should still go forward as Senator Irajá’s report is in favour of approving the proposal as it would help reduce organised crime.

The ”main benefit of PL nº 2234, of 2022, is to allow an economic activity that is already practiced even in misdemeanour, to come under State control, mitigating possible links between gambling and organized crime,” Senator Irajá stated in his opinion of the bill. According to the senator “PL No. 2234, of 2022, meets the requirements of constitutionality, legality, regimentation and good legislative technique. Furthermore, it is a worthy proposition, given that it establishes clear standards for a relevant economic activity that is currently outside state supervision.”

Senator Irajá is a supporter of a much larger expansion of the gambling industry. In 2020 the senator put forward his own pro gambling bill. Bill 4495/2020 would allow for Integrated Resorts via a public tender with licences being valid for 35 years. The bill caps a maximum of one resort per state and one in the Federal District. It addresses the benefits of integrated casinos in the wider context of tourism policy only and does not address any other forms of gambling. 

However Bill PL 2234/23 would change the gambling landscape in Brazil even more dramatically. The bill would allow for large scale casinos and bingo halls with electronic bingo machines on site as well as bingo halls in stadiums as casinos on riverboats.

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