There is already much opposition to proposed new Brazilian gambling legislation. The Catholic Church has called for proposed new legislation to be annulled by the upper house.
Senate to consider new Brazilian gambling legislation
Only last week the Brazilian Senators voted to legalize gambling. Legalised forms would include land based casinos, bingo parlours, lotteries and sports betting. Some forms of electronic betting would be included. Yesterday, the Senate President announced that the upper house would cast the final vote on December 7th, before parliamentary recess on December 22nd.
Although gambling in Brazil has been outlawed for 70 years, National Congress are aiming to allow gambling through a new gaming act. The bill is not specific on the number of outlets or what forms of online gambling would be allowed. The intention is to stamp out underground gambling enterprises such as the “Jogo de Bicho”, a type of lottery which is reported to be run by criminals.
This is a major development for a country in turmoil at the moment, it is hoped additional revenue will be generated by taxation of gambling activities. It has been estimated that 4 billion dollars is bet annually on the”Jogo de Bicho”. Brazil is the fifth largest economy in the world and it is estimated that 3 million dollars a year could be generated in tax revenue. There is a lot at stake here.
So, the vote is by no means expected to be positive. There have been demonstrations and cries for the new bill to be annulled by the upper house. There are serious concerns about the impact of gambling on Brazilian society.
Catholicism is the most popular religion in Brazil and the Catholic Church has already opposed the bill. The Catholic Bishops have damned the bill saying that it will cause irreparable moral, social and family damage. They have called for elected representatives to vote against the proposed new gambling legislation. Could this be the end of the Brazil gambling ban?
Surprisingly, the bill is not very clear on the extent of gambling which would be permitted. Perhaps, that will be its downfall. Legalizing gambling could create a torrent of opposition in an already divided society. The question is, can the Catholic Church create enough opposition for the bill to be annulled. If the bill is passed there are concerns that the new Brazilian gambling legislation will never be repealed.
Furthermore, there have been undertones that the Brazilian Government should have acted sooner. Had they done so, that they could have taken advantage of gambling revenue generated from hosting the World Cup and the Olympic Games.
In conclusion, it seems like a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.
Update May 2017: Brazil to legalise and regulate gambling.
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