Debate begins as Oliveira says gambling tax revenues must go directly to public safety and health
Senate President, Eunício Oliveira, has stated that he “wants to put to a vote in the Senate the Bill that legalizes gambling in Brazil,” adding that voting in the plenary on bill PLS 186/2014 should begin in the Senate after the holiday of the proclamation of the Republic of Brazil, on 15 November.
With so many interests on gambling legislation in the World’s eighth largest economy, it is impossible to predict the result or whether the decision of bill PLS 186/2014 will indeed go for debate and voting in the Senate Plenary later in the month. However, the gaming lobbies, which have campaigned long and hard for casino legislation in Brazil are almost in a frenzy of excitement.
Bill PLS 186/2014, proposed by Senator Ciro Nogueira, authorizes the operation of games of chance throughout Brazil national territory. The report on the bill prepared by Senator Benedito de Lira has made provisions for the collection of taxes on bets to be made, including through mobile applications, with revenues to be split between the states and municipalities.
The Senate President showed interest in including in the Senate agenda voting on bill PLS 186/2014 after meeting with Governors last week, despite the fact that the matter is controversial. Oliveira, said: “Controversial matters have to be decided by the plenary. We can’t go on with hypocrisy. If the project is controversial, we must discuss it through a transparent debate and find convergence.”
Oliveira, however, imposed a condition for gambling regulation to be placed on the agenda: “It is my condition that gambling tax revenues go directly to a public safety Fund and another portion to public health. Taxes cannot go to the Treasury.”
CCJ begins debating Bill 186/2014
As a preamble to full voting in the Senate Plenary, the Senate Committee on Constitution, Justice and Citizenship (CCJ) began debate of the legislation project that legalizes casinos, bingos, jogo do bicho, and betting in the country (PLS 186/2014).
The author of bill, Sen. Ciro Nogueira, said that the activity can render something like R $15 billion a year in taxes and generate thousands of jobs. Senator Benedito de Lira, Reader of the bill in the CCJ, defended has approval of the proposal. PLS 186/2014 proposes that the casinos should be operated by authorisation granted by the federal Government, while the bingos and the jogo do bicho to be licenced by states and municipalities.
According to bill PLS 186/2014, gambling should be approved for Brazil popular street illegal lotto jogo do bicho; electronic games, video lottery and video bingo; bingo; casinos in resorts; Online Sports betting; online bingo game; and online casino games.
Senator Ciro Nogueira justifies the proposal saying that the Brazilian population always taken luck as a feature the people. Nogueira’s proposal says: “Working just with social reality as it goes, one comes to the conclusion that gambling does exist, have always existed and will continue to exist because a bet, “a flutter “, o counting on luck, is a historical-cultural trait in the behaviour of almost all the peoples of the planet since the beginning,”
Further, Nogueira, also argues that people will keep practicing the games even without legal authorization. “The reality is that no one is going to stop betting on certain form of lottery because it is prohibited; the betting will continue to be done clandestinely, with all the evils it entails.”
The congressman agrees that there is authorization for the modalities of Government lotteries and asks why there should be uneven treatment for other gambling forms: “It is, to say the least, inconsistent and unreasonable to haver a different form of dealing with jogo do bicho and, at the same time, allow and regulate the modalities of Government lottery, that exist today. The Act of addressing gambling in a lottery follows the same logic as that of betting on jogo do bicho, as any other lottery.” (E-14.11.17)