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Brazil – Sports betting bill and gambling bill to be debated in Senate after election

By - 29 August 2022

Sports betting Bill 846/2018 and Gambling bill PL 442/91 will return to the Senate agenda, after the electoral period, according to the president of the Upper House, Rodrigo Pacheco. Pacheco said that the leaders of the Senate had asked him to deliberate on both issues.

PL 442/1991 was approved by the Chamber of Deputies in February, and is pending approval in the Senate. The text legalizes casinos, bingo, games of chance, online games and sports betting, among other modalities. According to Pacheco, the main leaders of the Senate blocs had asked the Presidency of the Chamber to analyze the possibility of deliberating on the bill.

“It is one of the projects on which the leaders asked the Presidency for evaluation. As soon as the elections are over, we are going to make an evaluation about their treatment in the Senate”, Pacheco said.

Meanwhile sports betting legislation has been pending now for over four years. In December 2018, President Michel Temer signed Bill 846/2018 into law to regulate landbased and interactive sportsbetting. The Ministry of Finance was granted two years to establish a regulatory framework to govern the market and provide for licences. The draft of the presidential decree to regulate the sports betting market in Brazil had been scheduled to become law on 10 May once signed by the President.

However the decree was delayed after Bolsonaro held a meeting with conservative legislator Marco Feliciano. Feliciano said that he had convinced Jair Bolsonaro as the practice went against the evangelical faith and would pave the way for the opening up of land based casinos.

If it is approved, the final text of PL 442/91 will replace as many as 20 other gambling related projects all of which have been discussed over many years. According to the text, casinos may be installed in resorts as part of an integrated leisure complex.

There may be three casinos when the state’s population is greater than 25 million. For states with more than 15 million and up to 25 million inhabitants, there may be two casinos. In other states and in the Federal District, with a population of up to 15 million inhabitants, there may be only one casino. Additionally, the Executive Branch may grant the operation of up to two establishments in leisure complexes in states measuring more than 1 million square km in size.

In locations classified as tourist centres or destinations, the installation of a casino will be allowed, regardless of the population density of the state in which they are located.

The law also permits municipalities and the Federal District to licence bingo halls. Bingo halls will also be allowed in stadiums with a capacity of over 15 thousand fans. Online gambling would also be permitted although the bill covers online gambling in very general terms.

Gambling has been delayed due to lawmakers being unwilling to tackle the issue in an election year.  With its vote on October 2 Jair Bolsonaro is 15 points behind his rival Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

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