DOM 21 DE ABRIL DE 2024 - 04:24hs.
Bill 2234/2022

Senator Irajá's report in CCJ approves legalization of casinos, bingos, and jogo do bicho in Brazil

Within the framework of the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Commission (CCJ), Senator Irajá presented a report in favor of the approval of Bill 2234/2022 that legalizes betting games such as casinos (in integrated and tourist resorts), bingo and ‘jogo do bicho’ in Brazil. In the text, the legislator states that “gambling already constitutes a relevant economic activity and must be subject to regulation by the State”. The CCJ session was closed without discussing the matter.

Bill 2234/2022 legalizes all forms of gambling in Brazil, including casinos in resorts, tourist casinos, bingo, 'jogo do bicho' (an illegal numbers game), and online gambling. It was approved in February 2022 in the Chamber of Deputies and, after being sent to the Senate, received a new number but has been sitting on the shelf since then.

Since its approval in the Chamber of Deputies, still under the number 442/91, the bill had been facing criticism from conservative lawmakers and the evangelical caucus, which baselessly claimed that gambling promoted family breakdown, attacked morals and good customs, and could be a gateway for tax evasion and money laundering.

Regarding the alleged offense to morals and good customs, as the religious caucus in the National Congress always argues when opposing the legalization of gambling, Senator Irajá challenges the argumentation.

“It is a concept with legal indeterminacy. Furthermore, religious motivations, if raised, do not have the strength to oppose the regulation of the subject, as a rule, no one in the country can be deprived of rights due to religious belief or philosophical or political conviction."

He further emphasizes that "it is clear in the Constitution that the economic order must be guided by the principles of free enterprise and the appreciation of work. Therefore, we argue for material constitutionality," he defended.

In acknowledging the merit of the project, Irajá states that the main benefit of bill 2234 is "to allow an economic activity that is already practiced, even in contravention, to come under state control, mitigating potential links between gambling and organized crime."

In his report, the senator cites data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), jurist Felipe Santa Cruz, and professor Pedro Trengrouse, who "assert that the gaming and betting market (legal or illegal) generated R$ 50 billion (US$ 10.25bn) in 2014. In the case of the modalities covered by the bill, 'jogo do bicho' generated around R$ 3 billion (US$ 615m); casinos also R$ 3 billion; bingos R$ 2.35 billion (US$ 480m); and horse racing R$ 300 million (US$ 62m)."

"The gambling market in Brazil is significant, having generated an amount between R$ 8.6 billion (US$ 1.75bn) and R$ 18.9 billion (US$ 3.85bn) in 2014. Updating this figure with the inflation rate calculated by the Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA) during the period, the gambling market would move from R$ 14.34 billion (US$ 2.95bn) to R$ 31.5 billion (US$ 6.45bn) in 2023," states the senator in his report.

"In other words, even in contravention, gambling already constitutes a relevant economic activity and, as such, should be subject to regulation by the state. Therefore, the proposition deserves to succeed."

"We conclude that Bill No. 2234, 2022, meets the requirements of constitutionality, legality, regularity, and good legislative technique. Furthermore, it is a meritorious proposition, as it establishes clear rules for a significant economic activity that is currently outside state supervision.”


Source: GMB