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Brazil – Wide sweeping gambling bill to be put forward by senator

By - 27 August 2020

A Brazilian Senator plans to put forward a gaming bill which would allow for a wide liberalisation of the market. Senator Angelo Coronel estimates that his new bill could generate as much as R$ 20 billion per year in taxes.

The objective of the new bill is to boost the economy, generate more resources and “bring to legality those who have been playing the game for many years”.  As part of the new act the senator aims to to legalise the popular street lottery “the animal game” as well as casinos in the country and is one of the broadest proposals put forward so far.

In an interview with Bahia Jornal, the lawmaker pointed out that his proposal was different from the Regulatory Framework for the Games, which has been in Congress for more than four years.

“My report is contemplating the setting up of casinos, the legalisation of the animal game, bingo halls and bets on the internet. In other words, all types of games will be covered in this report that I am making. I am not focused only on the bingo issue, because there are projects that focused more and prioritised more on this issue “, he said.

In addition to international conglomerates and new companies which will be able to explore setting up operations in Brazil, Coronel pointed out that the proposal also intends to legalise the traditional illegal animal game betting stalls present throughout the country, although they are currently prohibited.

“I am simply giving opportunity to those who have been playing the game for many years, who generate jobs and income in informality, so that they also have the right to be legalised so that, with this, they generate resources for our economy,” he said.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro signed a decree giving sports betting the green light in August. Currently there are two bills both of which would allow for a major expansion of the gaming industry:  one in the Senate and the other in the House of Deputies.  In August 2016 a special commission approved Deputy Guilherme Mussi’s substitute gaming bill In the House of Deputies and the final draft is now awaiting debate in a plenary session. The bill in the House of Deputies seeks to allow for casinos within wider leisure complexes, and would allow for bingo and electronic bingo. However online gaming would not be permitted under the terms of the new bill.

The bill in the Senate, which is now awaiting further analysis to the House Committee on Constitution, Justice and Citizenship (CCJ), allows for 35 casinos, with at least one per state while some states would be permitted to have as many as three, depending on the population and the economic outlook in each state. Bingos would also be permitted. Unlike the bill in the House of Deputies the Senate bill authorises online gaming. It does not, however, provide a new set of regulations to specifically cover the online industry. Rather it would require that online gambling companies offering their services in Brazil would be set up in accordance with Brazilian laws.

The legislative process in Brazil means that a bill can originate in either house. One passed it goes to the other house where it can be rejected, approved or amended and then returned to the Originating House. It is then forwarded for the presidential sanction or veto.

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