Brazil Gambling Regulation Vote Rescheduled for December 12

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The Brazilian Senate has decided to postpone the vote on the bill that would regulate the gambling sector in the country for Tuesday 12 December after it had originally been scheduled to take place on 6 December.

The delay means that the bill has less and less chances of being fully approved this year. The vote was postponed due to a lack of quorum in the Brazilian Senate, the minimum number of senators needed to vote was not met and it was not possible for the vote to go ahead.

Bill 3,626 was approved by Brazil’s Economic Affairs Commission a couple of weeks ago and everybody expected the Senate to follow suit without too much hassle, but that has not been the case as the vote was first rescheduled to the 29th of November as more than 100 amendments were added to the original bill.

Moreover, the delay was probably due to the fact that fifteen senators were unavailable for the vote as they were attending the United Nations Climate Summit in the United Arab Emirates. That summit is not over yet, it continues until early next week and the December 12 vote might be affected as well.

The vote on the gambling regulation bill requires a qualified quorum because the proposal does not benefit from consensus in the Senate. This means that if senators that are in favor of the legislative proposal can’t attend the vote, then the approval of the bill might be compromised.

If the December 12 vote is postponed as well, and that possibility seems quite likely, then the bill would probably not come into effect for a few months. That is because from 23 December until 2 February 2024 the Brazilian parliament will be in recess. That delay could have a big impact because if the bill is not approved by the end of 2023, the resources needed for its implementation cannot be included in the 2024 budget by the government.

If the Brazilian Senate would be able to approve the bill on Tuesday, then the matter would advance to the Chamber of Deputies, which would have to discuss the bill and the amendments before voting on it as well. But the Chamber of Deputies would have just over one week to decide on the bill before the recess.

Moving Closer

The Brazilian gaming industry stands firmly behind the bill and is hopeful that it would be approved sooner rather than later. Luiz Felipe Maia, founding partner of Brazilian law firm Maia Yoshiyasu Advogados, declared himself confident that regulation would be in place before too long and said that the country is getting “very close to the approval of the bill.” Maya also said that players would be the ones to benefit the most from the regulation.

The Brazilian government is counting on the bill to supplement the revenues for the state because it would impose a license fee for casino and betting operators which is expected to bring 30 million Brazilian Reais to the state coffers (around 6 million U.S. dollars). Moreover, the state expects to collect around 1.6 billion Brazilian Reais from taxes from the gambling sector.

Neil Montgomery, founder and managing partner of Brazilian law firm Montgomery & Associados, declared himself skeptical regarding the bill’s chances to be approved before the parliamentary recess. If the bill does get approved by the Chamber of Deputies, then it would have to receive one more final approval from the office of President Lula.

Source: “Brazil gambling regulation vote delayed to 12 December“. iGaming Business. December 7, 2023.

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