Brazil allows for gambling debate but national framework still faces long road

Dilma

The Brazilian off and on approach to regulating gambling appears to be on again after a special review committee for the Brazilian Senate progressed the legislative agenda for a regulated national betting industry.

The idea of regulating gambling in a country that banned bingo reletively recently in 2007 was mooted earlier this year as the government faced a fiscal crunch.

Bill 186 has now been approved by the Special Committee on National Development, with the body reportedly including research on the prospect of opening a legalised national online gambling framework.

The committee’s findings, which includes the potential for 35 casinos in the country, will now be open for discussion to members of the Brazilian senate.

In light of its progress, Brazil’s pro-gambling lobby has stated that any new national gambling framework still faces a long road to becoming a reality, betting consumers and campaigners should therefore remain objective about the country adopting a legalised agenda in the near future.

2015 has seen Brazil suffer a financial ‘annus horribilis’ as the country sees its worst economic growth performance in 25 years. Furthermore this week the Moody Investor Service downgraded Brazil investment grade to ‘Junk Status’.

Close associates of President Dilma Rousseff have publicly stated that the government are willing to implement a new national gambling framework as state public funding initiatives appear to be “cash-strapped”.

However Rousseff critics have pointed out that the government are in no way prepared to act on their ‘easy rhetoric’, as any talk of progress on a national gambling agenda is met with in-action.

Leading Brazilian political figureheads have agreed that the government can no longer afford to ignore a potentially regulated industry that could raise an estimated R$ 23 billion (£4 billion) in taxes. Furthermore all political parties appear to agree that at present national gambling laws are simply out of date with modern consumer habits.

Brazil’s slow progress towards even reviewing its gambling framework has left many commentators cynically questioning whether any government would want to pass a national gambling framework which will potentially have to satisfy multiple stakeholders; at intra-state level, national sporting bodies, federal police and a divided senate.

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