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Brazil -Committee vote on Brazilian gaming law postponed

By - 21 October 2016

The Special Committee in the Brazilian Senate has postponed the vote on the new draft of its gaming law until October 19.

While the vote was initially scheduled to take place on Wednesday (October 5th) the vote was delayed after Senator Fernando Bezerra Coelho made modifications to the new initiative and gave lawmakers more time to analyse changes to the new bill. Because a number of changes had been made to the bill a so called “collective view” was granted which means that senators were able to defer their votes and were given more time to examine the project.

As reported in the Senate’s official news bulletin, the bill has been earmarked amongst three other major policy changes as an urgent priority by the President of the House Senator Renan Calheiros. Calheiros announced in June that the Senate would vote on a number of controversial projects that have had met with no agreement and have been stalled for years.

Amongst the new changes to the latest draft of the new law are requirements which will make it obligatory for gaming establishments to keep records on bets as well as security camera footage for five years. In addition the act in its latest version will make it illegal for politicians and their relatives to run or operate gaming establishments in the future.

Bingo halls, will according to the latest draft of the new bill, be permitted in municipalities with a minimum of 200,000 inhabitants as opposed to 250,000 as originally envisaged. Another change revolves around the number of gambling facilities in larger municipalities. The previous proposal, gave permission for gaming centres for every 500,000 inhabitants so municipalities with a million people would only have been allowed two bingo halls. This number has now changed to 200,000. Consequently, municipalities with over a million inhabitants may have up to five bingo halls according to the latest version of the new bill. New amendments also state that no operator may be granted more than 10 per cent of the total of bingo licences granted and it also allows for electronic bingo machines as well.

Gaming legislation in different forms is now making fast progress in both the House of Deputies and the Senate but both laws have had trouble in the committee stage. In the Lower House five different versions of the new gaming law had to be drafted before the committee finally approved the final draft which should go before the Chamber of Deputies in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile in the Senate a new version of its gaming act had to be put before the Special Committee on National Development in August even though it had already been approved in December. This was after Senator Coelho made a request that the law be returned to the committee for further discussion. The Senator claimed that more time was needed after hearing from representatives from a number of government agencies who had made it clear that the bill needed to be improved upon specifically in order to prevent money laundering.

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