BRAZIL INCHES CLOSER TO ONLINE GAMBLING REGULATION (Update)
Senate vote now scheduled for December 7.
This month has seen a sudden flurry of progress on Brazils previously lethargic journey toward gambling reforms that include the legalization of online gambling; earlier the Senate Special Committee on National Development approved a final draft of Bill 186, advancing it in the Senate, and on Friday the news broke that a date of December 7 has been set for debate and a vote.
The wide-ranging bill includes both land and online gambling provisions. Assuming it is approved by the Senate, the measure will then go to the lower-ranking Chamber of Deputies for consideration and hopefully a vote.
The Chamber toyed with its own gambling bill earlier this year and it made no progress, but it could surface later this (November) month when the Chamber again sits.
However, international operators should not be too optimistic, as it is understood that the draft measure now before the Senate has protectionism clauses which will restrict licensing to the national lottery operator, at least as far as online sports betting is concerned, and online bingo to existing terrestrial license holders.
Analysts estimate the Brazilian gambling market to be worth around US$17 billion a year, generating significant tax revenue for the cash-strapped government.