Brazil lawmakers advance Bill 186, however scepticism remains regarding national gambling framework


Brazil’s long road to regulating online gambling services has received a further boost as its House of Representatives have approved amendments to Bill 186, which aims to introduce a new national industry framework.

To date, Brazil law makers have kept their promise of reviewing the bill’s national agenda, which was put forward to House of Representatives in December 2015.

Drafted by a special committee in 2015, Bill 186 aims to implement sweeping changes to Brazil’s gambling industry, with its agenda outlining licensing processes for online betting products and further land-based gambling services such as casino games and video lottery terminals.

At present Bill 186 stakeholders have chosen not to share information regarding the legislative make-up of the bill’s framework. However Brazilian news sources have speculated that online gambling services will be charged at a higher tax rate than land-based enterprises.

The governing Workers Party (led by  President Dilma Rousseff ) have kept quiet regarding the progress of the bill, giving no indication as to how many new gambling licenses it may issue. Furthermore, it remains uncertain whether international operators targeting Brazil’s digital market will be requested to partner with national enterprises.

The reformation of Brazil’s gambling framework became a hot topic in 2015 as the nation entered a deep recession which saw its economy contract 4%, with unemployment nearing double digit figures.

Throughout 2015, Leading Brazilian political figures 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 Furthermore, all political parties appear to agree that at present national gambling laws are simply out of date with modern consumer habits

Regardless of its recent progress, scepticism remains attached to the nation wide implementation of Bill 186. Many political commentators have argued that Dilma Rousseff Workers Party is presently dogged by corruption allegations and day to day in-fighting, which have made it incapable of reviewing or processing any new law. Under this political context, Dilma Rousseff and her inept party have themselves become an obstacle for progress, gambling stakeholders may have to wait until Rousseff’s under threat leadership position becomes more clear.

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