DOM 21 DE ABRIL DE 2024 - 05:00hs.
Commitment made by House’s president

Senate to postpone vote on sports betting bill until December 12th

The president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), committed to senators to postpone the vote on Bill 3626/2023 until December 12th. Scheduled to go to the Plenary today, Wednesday 6th, Pacheco kept the item on the agenda, but as soon as the session opens he will propose that the discussion take place next week. He gave in to the appeals of parliamentarians in favor of the project, who fear the low quorum, and opponents, who want to discuss the inclusion of online casinos in the project.

During this Tuesday's (5) session, numerous senators requested the postponement of the discussion of Bill 3626/2023, claiming that the topic is complex and that the low quorum would prevent a broader discussion of the topic.

Rodrigo Pacheco agreed with the request and decided that the vote will take place on December 12th. The matter remains on the agenda, but the president of the Senate stated that as soon as the session begins he will postpone the consideration of the project until next week.

The low quorum is due to the absence of several senators, who are participating in COP28 (UN Conference on Climate Change), in the United Arab Emirates. The sessions have been taking place semi-in-person since last week.

On the 29th, due to maneuvers by senators opposed to the matter, there was a first postponement after reading the report by senator Angelo Coronel (PSD-BA), who voted in favor of the matter and did not accept Plenary amendments presented at the last minute.

Pacheco recalled that the project, authored by the Executive Branch, was being processed under a regime of constitutional urgency and had to be voted on within 45 days under penalty of the agenda being blocked. On November 12th, the government removed the urgency to allow other relevant proposals to be processed, but the delay in deliberating the text in the thematic committees did not allow the project to reach the Plenary sooner.

He defended the remote deliberation system, but agreed with the arguments that a highly complex matter demands a discussion with more senators physically present.

“Next week will be filled with many legislative proposals, with many authorities to be considered, so I strongly ask for the presence of all senators in the Plenary,” stated Pacheco.

Government leader in the Senate, Jaques Wagner (PT-BA) proposed voting on the main text this Wednesday (6), leaving the decision on the highlights for next Tuesday (12). However, Pacheco assessed that the original referral “satisfies all parties”.

The postponement proposal was presented by senator Flávio Arns (PSB-PR), who said he was concerned about the project. For him, it is “more beneficial for Brazil” for the senators to be in Plenary, and there are many highlights to be appreciated.

“That this assessment could be made, instead of tomorrow, next week, in person, with the important and significant presence of senators in the Plenary,” he said.

Arns was supported by Eduardo Girão (Novo-CE), who warned that the project is controversial and demands serenity. He said that the presence of senators will improve the quality of the debate, but criticized the text.

Bill 3626/2023 is one of the Lula government's priorities to increase revenue next year and guarantee the goal of zero deficit. The government's estimate is a revenue of R$1.6 billion (US$ 325m) to R$2 billion (US$ 405m) in 2024 with the regulation of sports betting.

Angelo Coronel claims that this number is underestimated. He considers that the approval of the project, as reported by him, will guarantee revenue in the order of R$10 billion (US$ 2.05bn) next year.

In grants alone, as the GMB said and the Ministry of Finance confirmed, the 134 companies that presented the form expressing interest in a license would guarantee R$4.02 billion (US$ 815m) to the public coffers, more than double the amount estimated by the government.

The postponement of the vote further compromises the Executive's plans, as the matter originated in the Chamber and must return to the deputies for consideration after voting and approval in the Senate. The calendar is short and it is not expected that there will be enough time to complete this rite for President Lula to sanction the Law to be approved in Congress.

Source: GMB