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Brazil – Sports betting could be dealt with as bill rather than provisional measure

By - 22 May 2023

Sports betting in Brazil could be facing a delay as it could be changed from a Provisional Measure to a fully fledged bill.

According to local press Arthur Lira, President of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, has asked the government to change the current provisional measure into a bill, so it would need to go through approval in both legislative chambers. The bill would be marked as urgent.

However the project would be delayed and it will undoubtedly face opposition from the evangelical caucus. Earlier this month Deputy Eli Borges, president of the Evangelical Parliamentary Front (FPE), stated the caucus’s opposition to gambling saying that the FPE was “totally against gambling and betting” due to the dangers of gambling related harm.

Meanwhile another gambling bill in the senate is gaining some traction due to the match fixing scandal now breaking in first division and second division football with senators signalling that they want to accelerate the debate on the subject in Congress. 

Lawmakers want to focus on the projects on the subject that have been filed in the House in order to work on which one of the proposals, would be amended. Currently in the spotlight is Bill (PL 845/2023) presented by senators Jorge Kajuru and Hamílton Mourão in March.

For a bill to pass it would need to go through both houses meaning it would take longer and face the very real chance of not getting through at all.

According to Agência Brasil (the national public news agency, run by the Brazilian government) Brazilian Provisional measures (MPs) are rules with the force of law, sent by the President of the Republic for analysis by the National Congress. The rule is that the MP is edited in situations of relevance and urgency. As soon as it is edited, the MP already produces immediate legal effect. While an MP is effective immediately and must be approved by Congress within 120 days to have permanent effect approval requires only a simple majority half +1 in relation to those present in the plenary. An urgent bill on the other hand locks the voting agenda after 45 days and starts with the chamber. Approval requires an absolute majority – 257 deputies.

Arthur Lira who has been a long time supporter of gambling reform insisted on this request, as  neither he nor the president of the Federal Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco managed to reach an agreement on which standing committees should analyze the provisional measure as lawmakers now want more of a say on the matter.  

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