Senate postpones vote on Brazil’s gambling regulation Bill

Senate postpones vote on Brazil’s gambling regulation Bill

The eagerly anticipated Senate vote on Brazil’s legislation to regulate sports betting and online casino games has encountered a setback, with a delay of at least one week. This pause comes as a group of senators opposing the bill successfully invoked Senate rules, affording them additional time to scrutinise the proposed measure.

Senate leadership dynamics

With Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco currently abroad, acting leader Veneziano Vital do Rêgo has concurred that Bill 3626/2023 can be discussed on the Senate floor. However, a formal vote will only take place next week when Pacheco returns from a United Nations conference on climate change.

The decision to postpone the vote follows a motion for urgent consideration, which was initially passed. However, anti-gambling lawmakers cited parliamentary rules, necessitating two additional Senate sessions before the final vote, unless a three-fifths quorum is present.

Wednesday’s delay signals potential challenges in securing Senate approval for the bill, already endorsed by the Chamber of Deputies and two Senate committees. Some senators express reservations, particularly regarding the inclusion of online casino games.

Bill rapporteur Angelo Coronel proceeded to introduce his version of the legislation on the Senate floor, despite the delay. Coronel emphasised that the bill aims to regulate, rather than legalise, online casino games already in play in Brazil. He predicts substantial revenue, disputing proposed amendments to exclude online casino games from the bill.

Legislative dynamics and future debates

After Wednesday’s session, senators now have an additional week to propose amendments. Coronel will review and recommend whether these amendments should be incorporated into the final bill. The debate and vote on the online betting bill are expected during the Senate’s session on December 6, pending Pacheco’s decision.

The focus on gambling expansion in Brazil’s Senate extends beyond the sports betting and online casino bill. Recent developments reveal the Senate’s consideration of a broader bill authorising casino-resorts, video bingo operations, and numbers games.

Bill 2234/2022 advances

Bill 2234/2022, previously approved by the Chamber of Deputies in February 2022, has gained momentum in the Senate. Senator Irajá, a casino proponent, recommended its approval, emphasising the establishment of clear rules for a relevant economic activity.

Originally slated for a November 29 vote, the Senate plenary has agreed to postpone the decision until December. Senator Angelo Coronel’s proposed amendments, including favourable taxation for fantasy sports, will be considered. Once approved, the bill will undergo review by the Chamber of Deputies and, if accepted, forwarded to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for final approval.

Key details of Bill 3626/23

As of November 21, the Economic Affairs Committee approved Bill 3626/23, introducing amendments such as the inclusion of online casinos and a reduced taxation rate of 12%. The bill outlines the allocation of taxes to various sectors and sets licence terms at five years.

The journey towards legalised sports betting and casinos in Brazil began in May with PM 1182. Despite initial challenges, subsequent bills, including 3626/2023, have shaped the current legislative landscape, addressing concerns such as tax rates and advertising restrictions. The final decision rests on future Senate deliberations and potential amendments.

Heightened interest in the SiGMA Americas Summit

This legislative journey coincides with the upcoming SiGMA Americas Summit scheduled to take place in Sao Paolo in April 2024. The summit, renowned for its significance in the gaming industry, has witnessed a surge in demand for booths and sponsorships as industry leaders and stakeholders anticipate the unfolding regulatory landscape in Brazil. The postponement of the Senate vote has become a focal point of discussions within the gaming community, contributing to the heightened interest and engagement expected at the summit.

As the Senate’s decision on the gambling regulation bill looms, the SiGMA Americas Summit stands poised to be a key platform for networking, collaboration, and discourse among industry players seeking to navigate the evolving regulatory terrain in Brazil. The uncertainty surrounding the legislative outcome has only heightened the relevance of the summit, making it a crucial forum for understanding and adapting to the potential shifts in one of Latin America’s largest markets.

Join SiGMA Eurasia in Dubai between the 25 and 27 February 2024

The fourth edition of SiGMA Eurasia will once again be held at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City, providing invaluable opportunities for attendees to network with industry professionals, gain exposure to the latest tech and innovations in the sector, meet key decision makers, and gain insight into new markets. Find all the details here.

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