The Federal Senate’s Committee on Regional Development and Tourism (CDR) granted a favorable assessment for the approval of the Bill (PL) that regulates casinos in Brazil. The text was prepared last year by Senator Roberto Rocha (PSDB).
Rapporteur at CDR, Ângelo Coronel (PSD / BA) supported Rocha’s idea and pointed out that the funds from casinos and similar establishments can pay for Citizen Income, a program designed by the government of President Jair Bolsonaro.
One of the points for the favorable position of both the project and the CDR is the “temporality” of the prohibition on fortune activities. In the early 1940s, during the Getúlio Vargas government, Decree-Law 3,688 determined “simple imprisonment” in an “open or semi-open regime” for anyone caught in contravention.
When assuming, General Eurico Gaspar Dutra, issued Decree-Law 9.215, alleging to fight “gambling is an imperative of universal conscience” and taking advantage of a breach of the licenses issued for “for the practice and exploitation of games of chance (…) ”, which were“ given on a precarious basis ”.
According to Senator Ângelo Coronel, the ban on games on game days is nothing more than “false morality”. “This legislative blindness (…) makes money from games of fortune in Brazil used to finance organized crime,” said the parliamentarian.
Estimated game revenue in the country
The senator also pointed out a 2017 Instituto Brasileiro Jogo Legal (IJL) study, which indicated an estimated turnover of around 20 billion in the segment per year, between Jogo do Bicho, bingos, slot machines and online bets.
Also according to the IJL, Jogo do Bicho generated around 12 billion reais in 2017, bingo games R $ 1.3 billion, slot machines, R $ 3.6 billion and internet bets, R $ 3 billion.
This means that even if not regulated, games and lotteries outside the legal radar reached approximately 20 billion in revenue in the analyzed period.
The path to license the casinos in Brazil
In addition to voting in favor of the project, the senator argued that the funds for the regulation of the area may be allocated to the Citizen Income, a program that does not yet have a defined budget source. According to Ângelo Coronel, it would be 50 billion reais a year just with the payment of taxes on games of fortune.
But, the way back from casinos in Brazil is still long. In addition to this favorable evaluation in the CDR, the PL needs the approval of the Economic Affairs Commissions (CAE) and Constitution and Justice (CCJ) to be evaluated in the plenary session of the Federal Senate.
In case of approval, the text is forwarded to the Chamber of Deputies. If refused, it can only be reevaluated in the next legislature.