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Brazil – Rapporteur for online gambling bill defends inclusion of online casinos

By - 11 December 2023

Senator Angelo Coronel  rapporteur of the online gambling bill (PL 3626/23) in the senate has said that he believes that it should be approved this week and has come out in support of online casinos being part of the bill.

However he was critical of those who taken a stance against the project. Talking to TV Senado in Brazil he said:

“What surprises us a lot is that there are colleagues who are against this regulation of online gambling. It even seems like we are inventing some kind of game. We are not inventing anything, we want to legalize what is there, because in the 2018 law, still under the Temer government, this law on online gaming was approved, on sports betting. We are now regulating them [online operators] to come out of hiding and thus generate resources for the Union’s coffers,” he said.

“So there are senators against it. I think they are more in favour of clandestinely than of regulating these, let’s say, tax-generating products for Brazil. What would be the point of not leading to regulation? Because it seems to me that even the sector itself, to some extent, is in favour of this regulation, which ends up bringing more formalization.”

One of the controversial points has been the inclusion of online casino games in the bill. However the lawmaker argued that it was already commonplace. It is “the normal practice today,” he said.

“Now, what surprises us is that there are fellow senators who are, I repeat, against this regulation. I keep asking, why do they want it to go underground? Because gaming exists . .  . No one will be able to stop this practice. It is impossible today to use police repression to prevent the person in their house from playing in an online casino, or playing, I don’t know, in any modality. How are you going to control it? Will the police invade your house to ban it? Are they going to invade your office to ban it?” he said.

At the end of last month  a number of  senators spoke out against the bill and were said  to be negotiating an alternative to the text as they believe that it would open a loophole for the operation of virtual casinos. To change their position regarding its approval, they want, in exchange, the inclusion of an amendment to the text that bans “the installation or availability of equipment in physical establishments that are intended for the sale of bets in a virtual environment.” Senator Ângelo Coronel does not support the change.

The sports betting bill was approved by the lower house in September. Unexpectedly online casinos were added to the bill at the last minute and the bill was then moved to the senate for further scrutiny.

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