Foto: Pedro França /Agência Senado

The evangelical segment in the Federal Senate managed to postpone the vote on the bill (PL) that proposes to tax fixed-odds sports betting, known as bets, last Wednesday, November 29th.

This project, considered a priority by the economic team due to its revenue potential, ended up not being debated in the Senate plenary this week.

Opposition from the evangelical segment

Leaders of the evangelical segment, many of whom oppose the Lula (PT) government, argue that the project could facilitate activities such as slot machines and online games, practices strongly rejected by the group.

Despite the approval of the urgency of the proposal, the lack of consensus prevented in-depth discussion and voting on the PL.

Postponement until after Pacheco’s return

Veneziano Vital do Rêgo (MDB-PB), vice-president of the Senate and president of the session, suggested that voting on the PL take place after the return of Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), president of the Senate, who is in the United Arab Emirates to the 28th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP28).

Government disorganization and other issues

Behind the scenes, government disorganization can be seen in the management of the agenda, despite the approval, in the same session, of the taxation of offshore funds and exclusive funds for the “super-rich”, which are now awaiting sanction.

Betting project details

The bets project, which has already passed through the Economic Affairs (CAE) and Sports (CEsp) commissions, generated expectations of a vote this week.

The CAE rapporteur, senator Angelo Coronel (PSD-BA), adjusted the rates proposed by the government.

For betting companies, the rate will be 12% (instead of 18%), and for bettors with prizes above R$2,212, it will be 15% (instead of 30%).

They established the maximum fixed grant value at R$30 million, limiting up to three trademarks per legal entity.

They extended the period of authorization to explore betting from three to five years.

Distribution of revenue

The proceeds will be allocated mainly to the areas of sport (36%) and tourism (28%), as well as public security (14%), education (10%) and social security (10%).

Revenue expectations

The government estimates that the measure could generate R$728 million next year. While minister Fernando Haddad has already mentioned the possibility of reaching up to R$2 billion.

Randolfe Rodrigues (No party-AP), government leader in Congress, believes that revenue could reach around R$5 billion.

Taxing betting is one of the federal government’s main strategies to increase revenue and achieve the fiscal goal of zero deficit.