Home Gambling Industry Brazil House of Representatives legislators approve gambling bill

Brazil House of Representatives legislators approve gambling bill

24 Feb 2022
5 min. read

Brazil National Congress
The Brazil House of Representatives approved in the early hours of Thursday the basic text of a bill that legalizes and regulates gambling in the country. The proposal was put to a vote by President Arthur Lira to the dislike of a portion of the House, especially the evangelical caucus, but passed with the favorable votes of 246 deputies. Another 206 were against and there were three abstentions. The highlights will be voted on the morning of Thursday and then the bill proceeds to the analysis of the Senate.

The theme had been criticized by certain politicians in the House in recent weeks, which pressured the federal government and President Jair Bolsonaro to act against the bill. Bolsonaro even sent messages to government deputies in the early hours of Wednesday, asking for votes against the proposal, but the mobilization was not enough to prevent approval.

Before the vote on the bill, parliamentarians analyzed a request from Congressman Sóstenes Cavalcante, leader of the evangelical bench, for the proposal to be removed from the agenda, but the request was rejected.

As much as Bolsonaro has triggered the government deputies to stand against the project, during the vote on the request to remove the agenda, the government leadership released the guidance of parliamentarians, letting each one decide their vote on their own. In this way, many of them supported that the review of the proposal should not be postponed.

When members went to vote on the text, the government also did not advise against the proposal. With this, the project ended up receiving the favorable votes of many deputies.

The text that received the approval of the Chamber proposes the structuring of the National System of Games and Betting, admitting the exploitation of casino games, turf bets (horse racing), bingo games, "animal" gambling (greyhound races and others) and online gambling. According to the text, it is defined that games and bets can be offered through physical or virtual establishments.

According to the bill, the operation of games and bets will be considered as typically private economic activity subject to state control. Thus, access to it will not be free, but subject to obtaining acts of consent, such as authorization for the incorporation of the gaming operators and license for the operation of the gaming and betting operators.

The text establishes a level of tax collection resulting from the exploitation of games and betting, whose objective is to ensure more resources for the implementation and development of social public policies.

The proposal creates the CIDE-Jogos, a gambling regulator, with a rate set at 17% for the games, and the inspection fee for the issuance of the license. The resources from CIDE-Jogos will be distributed to 13 areas, with the largest contribution being to the Municipal Participation Fund and the State Participation Fund, both with 16%. Embratur will also receive a significant share of 12%.

There is also the provision for use of the collection with the National Public Security Fund, the National Culture Fund, the National Fund for Children and Adolescents and the Student Finance Fund.

The project authorizes the possibility of operating casinos in river vessels and an additional license for the states of Pará and Amazonas for their territorial dimensions. In addition, the limited existence of casino licenses integrated with the population criterion of a state license with up to 15 million inhabitants, two state permits between 15 million and 25 million inhabitants and three licenses for a state with more than 25 million inhabitants is conditioned.

For bingo activity, one bingo house is limited to every 150,000 inhabitants per municipality and with a paid-up capital of R$10 million ($2 million). A maximum of 400 video bingo machines will be allowed to operate in the houses. Similarly, turf betting entities will be able to explore bingo and video bingo games. Stadiums with capacity above 15,000 fans can be used by bingo companies.

The proposal also creates the registration of prohibited locations, which will consist of a large database aimed at registering players prevented from entering gaming environments.

It will be possible to control and record access to the gambling and betting locations, and allow monitoring of the behavior of players and bettors, with a view to their protection and prevention of behavior disorders related to the activity.

The introduction of gambling, through betting on electronic marketing channels, via Internet, mobile telephony, mobile computing devices or any other authorized digital communication channels, is authorized by accreditation with the Ministry of Economy.

To try to contain the occurrence of crimes of a sexual nature, money laundering and narcotics-related crimes, the project establishes a specific list of crimes against gambling and betting. It will criminalize the conduct of those who, for example, exploit any kind of gambling without meeting the requirements proposed in the regulatory law, try to fix the outcome of the game or bet or allow under-18s to participate in games and betting.

24 Feb 2022
5 min. read