At dawn on Thursday, the 24th, the Chamber of Deputies approved with 246 votes in favor and 202 against, the basic text for the legalization of betting. The project allows practices such as casinos, bingo, animal game and online bookmakers. Regarding digital platforms, one more step will be needed, which is the regulation of the Executive.
However, it is important to emphasize that the deputies still need to evaluate the highlights of the text, which may modify some issues. This will take place at a session scheduled for this Thursday. Subsequently, the bill will be sent to the Senate.
Since Monday, the president of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), acted to have the project voted on in the plenary. The rapporteur, deputy Felipe Carreras (PSB-PE) spoke with the leaders of the parties to adjust the proposal to meet some demands.
In addition, the proposal establishes a new tax, Cide-jogos, to collect 17% of the gross revenue of businesses linked to gambling activities. The resources will be directed to sectors such as tourism, environment, culture, public security and natural disasters. While the incidence of Income Tax on award-winning individuals will reach 20% on top of the net gain.
Carreras also recommended the definition of a specific series of “crimes against gambling and betting” to penalize, among other irregularities, people who defraud the results of games or bets.
Positioning the base allied to the government
In 2021, when the urgency request was approved, President Jair Bolsonaro, pressured by the evangelical bench, said he would veto the proposal. However, members of his team and the government leader, Ricardo Barros (PP-PR), worked for approval.
“The government releases its base, not least because it has parties that have different understandings, and the President of the Republic will maintain his veto prerogative if the project goes through and arrives for its consideration”, said the deputy leader of the government Evair de Mello (PP -ES).
But this action was not well received by the government’s base in Congress. “Is it (the government) against it? I heard from some people connected to the government the request for support. Basically, they are favorable. They just don’t want to expose themselves in front of the population,” said Marcos Pereira (SP), president of the Republicans.
The party oriented its members to vote against the proposal. They also positioned themselves against PT, PSC and PSOL. In the plenary, deputy Sóstenes Cavalcante (União Brasil-RJ), president of the evangelical bench, articulated to try to obstruct the vote.
According to an article in ‘O Globo’, the fact that the government is divided on the legalization of betting causes discomfort. Ministers such as Ciro Nogueira (Casa Civil) and Gilson Machado (Tourism) fought for the approval of the agenda, while ministers Anderson Torres (Justice) and Damares Alves (Women, Family and Human Rights) are against it.
Rapporteur of the proposal to legalize betting made changes to the texts before the vote
After a series of conversations with party leaders, Deputy Felipe Carreras modified a part of the text referring to the inspection of games and betting. In the preliminary report, he left the supervision and regulation of the games to the Ministry of Tourism.
After pressure from the PT, this role will be granted to a regulatory agency, to be created and linked to the Ministry of Economy. “We are going to put this supervision in the Ministry of Economy. A regulatory agency will give a license for all activities in all segments”, explained Carreras.
The body should regulate activities to prevent money laundering and suspected terrorist financing. Other changes were also made shortly before the vote.
There has been an increase in the number of licenses for casinos in the states of Pará and Amazonas. “The rivers will be able to have casinos on river vessels within 30 days, not to be an anchored casino. It was a novelty”, added Carreras.
Main excerpts from the betting legalization project
The bill, pending in the Chamber since 1991, allows games to be played in the country, such as casinos, bingos, animal games and digital betting platforms. An agency will be created to enforce the rules determined by the new legislation.
The casinos will be integrated into leisure centers, in the hotel sector, or on vessels. In the first case, it is essential to offer “high standard” accommodation, with at least 100 rooms. In relation to vessels, at least 50 rooms.
The license will be obtained after bidding, with a minimum capital measurement of R$ 100 million. A maximum of three permits will be provided per state with a population greater than 25 million. Two in states with populations between 15 and 25 million. And one with a state with a population of less than 15 million.
The proposal allows the exploitation of bingo only in bingo houses and football stadiums, prohibiting the holding of sporadic bingos, unless carried out by philanthropic entities. The existence of a bingo is limited to every 150 thousand inhabitants per city and with a capital of R$ 10 million.
Jogo do Bicho
The licenses for Jogo do Bicho would also be tendered. In the states, for 700 thousand inhabitants, a license may be granted. The minimum amount to participate in the dispute would be R$ 10 million.
The proposal provides that the operation of online betting will depend on specific regulations, which will be defined by the Ministry of Economy. Previously, there were a number of separate rules, linked to the rules of the Jogo do Bicho.
The rapporteur considered that sites that place bets on sporting events are already being regulated by the Economy. This is because a law was recently passed that amends the taxation of fixed-odds bets.
Machines of this type can only be placed in the facilities of leisure or bingo complexes. It is prohibited to directly place banknotes or coins in any type of game or machine and the player needs to be identified.
Cide-jogo will be created to collect 17% of the gross revenue of the businesses. This amount will be transferred to the Municipal Participation Fund – FPM (16%); State Participation Fund – FPE 16%; Embratur (12%); actions in the sports area (10%); national culture fund (10%); player protection policy (4%); funding of health programs and actions related to gambling (4%); national public security fund (6%); National Fund for Children and Adolescents (4%); financing of animal defense and protection programs and actions (4%); Student Financing Fund (4%); reconstruction of risk areas or areas impacted by natural disasters (5%); actions aimed at preventing natural disasters in the defense field (5%).