A long-delayed vote on the legalization of a number of gambling options was delayed once again by Brazilian lawmakers, local media reported. Members of the Brazilian Senate’s Constitution and Justice Commission were expected to finally cast their votes on a related legislative piece during a Wednesday meeting.
However, their session was adjourned before lawmakers were able to consider the bill. Sen. Edson Loboão, President of the Commission, informed his colleagues that they had to join a plenary session of the Congress immediately.
Although the bill could be voted on during the Commission’s next scheduled meeting on December 20, it is rather doubtful that such a meeting will take place at all. Local media reported that Sen. Loboão wished a Marry Christmas to his colleagues upon closing the session. With that said, a vote on the bill will likely be postponed for an unspecified date in 2018.
This was the third consecutive week that a scheduled vote on the piece of legislation failed to take place. What is more, PLS 186/2014 has marked its third year of existence without seeing and significant progress made towards its enactment.
What Does the Bill Call For?
Authored by Sen. Ciro Nogueira, PLS 186/2014 calls for a massive overhaul of the nation’s gambling regulations. The last such overhaul took place more than seven decades ago, and it resulted in gambling being generally prohibited, with very few exceptions.
If enacted eventually, Sen. Nogueira’s bill will allow for the legalization of land-based casinos, bingo parlors, online sports betting and gaming, and the locally popular lottery-like animal game Jogo do Bicho.
The bill also includes provisions on how Brazil’s freshly expanded gambling industry will be taxed. For instance, land-based casinos, once constructed, will be taxed at 10% on their full-year gross gambling revenue. Online gambling services, on the other hand, will be taxed at 20% on gross gambling revenue. A previous proposal for a 30% rate on all types of legal gambling services was rejected by members of the Constitution and Justice Commission.
PLS 186/2014 also features information about the licenses that will be issued to interested operators, provided that it is signed into law at some point in future. Land-based casino operators will be granted 30-year licenses with a renewal options, while bingo operators will be issued 20-year licenses that, too, will be able to be renewed.
Although Brazil’s market is yet to be opened, major gambling companies have already expressed interest in entering it. Las Vegas casino giants Las Vegas Sands and Caesars Entertainment have been eying the Southern American country as their next expansion destination. Earlier this year, Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson met with Brazil’s President Michel Temer to present him with an $8-billion project for the construction of an integrated casino resort in Rio de Janeiro.
Robert Johnson is an experienced web author and blogger. He has over three years of experience as a freelance journalist and writer.