Brazil President promises to sanction casino law

Shirley Pulis Xerxen 1 month ago
Brazil President promises to sanction casino law

Earlier this week, the Brazilian Senate’s Constitution and Justice Committee (CCJ) approved a bill that legalises casinos, bingo halls, and the traditional “jogo do bicho.” The bill, PL 2234/2022, passed narrowly with 14 votes in favour and 12 against. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stated on Friday that he would sanction the bill if it is approved by the Senate.

Speaking during a radio interview, Lula emphasised that while he is not personally in favour of gambling, he does not see it as a crime. “If Congress approves it and there is an agreement among political parties, there’s no reason not to sanction it,” he said.

Lula’s concerns

The bill, which has already passed the House, now awaits a full Senate vote. If approved without amendments, it will move to President Lula’s desk for final sanction. Lula also addressed concerns regarding the socioeconomic impacts of gambling, noting that while the legalization might create jobs, it is unlikely to be a panacea for Brazil’s economic challenges. He expressed skepticism about claims that the move would generate 2 million jobs, arguing that while casinos might provide employment for poorer individuals, these individuals are unlikely to be patrons. Additionally, Lula highlighted the rise of online sports betting and its potential impact on young people, underlining the need for careful regulation.

What is included in PL 2234 (2022)

PL 2234 (2022), aims to regulate gambling and betting in Brazil, amending and revoking outdated laws. The bill is structured into ten titles, covering general provisions, the establishment of the National System of Games and Bets (Sinaj), licensing requirements, and measures to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. It seeks to bring an already existing, often illegal, economic activity under state control, reducing ties to organized crime. The bill includes the creation of a national register of prohibited individuals (RENAPRO) and imposes a 20% tax on prizes above R$10,000 (just over €1,700). The committee’s analysis confirms the bill’s constitutionality and economic importance, proposing amendments to enhance the text. The regulation is expected to formalize the gambling sector, ensuring state oversight and addressing issues like gambling addiction and financial crimes.

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