After having its vote postponed once again, the Sports Betting Bill (PL 3626/23) was included as item 1 on the Agenda of the Semi-Presidential Ordinary Deliberative Session of the Senate this Wednesday, December 6, which is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
The decision to include the issue in the agenda was made by the president, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), who is accompanying the Brazilian delegation to COP 28 in the United Arab Emirates. On Wednesday, senators will be able to vote through the app and will not need to be in Brasília, which could guarantee the quorum necessary for a roll call vote.
The information was confirmed by the rapporteur of the bill that regulates online sports betting, senator Ângelo Coronel (PSD-BA), who told Arko Advice that the vote on the text should begin this Wednesday.
“The deadline is short, we only have until December 21 and we will put in a concentrated effort to pass this and other bills in the coming weeks,” the senator stated.
The consultant also spoke to Adolfo Viana (PSDB-BA), the bill’s rapporteur in the Chamber of Deputies. If Coronel’s opinion is approved by the senators, the text will return to the Chamber and will be analyzed again by Viana.
The deputy pointed out that he intended to modify the tax rate established in the Senate opinion, in search of a middle ground – Coronel’s text taxes the turnover of betting companies at 12%, while the text approved in the House foresaw a rate of 18%, in addition to obliging the so-called foreign betting companies to have at least 20% of their capital in the hands of a Brazilian company.
In the Senate, changes were introduced in the text approved by the Chamber of Deputies, so the bill will have to pass again through the Lower House. The postponement further tightens an extensive calendar of agendas to be voted on in Congress. The parliamentary recess begins on December 23.
The Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad, said on Thursday, November 30, that the economic team will ‘tenaciously’ pursue the goal of bringing the public accounts deficit to zero next year.
“We are going to work until the last day to get all of this passed. We have the support of both the Speaker of the House and the Senate,” Haddad told reporters in Doha, Qatar, on a series of measures being debated in Congress to raise revenue, such as regulating federal incentives based on state subsidies, taxing sports betting and changing the JCP (interest on capital) mechanism.
He welcomed the progress of the measures in Congress. On Wednesday, November 29, the Federal Senate approved one of the minister’s main proposals to increase revenues until 2024. Senators approved the proposal to modify the tax levied on so-called exclusive funds (intended for high-income individuals in Brazil) and offshore funds (abroad). The government expects to raise BRL 20 billion reais (about $4 million) from the measure next year.
Despite the presentation of Senator Angelo Coronel’s (PSD-BA) report in the plenary, the vote on PL 3626/23 was postponed last Wednesday, November 29.
Opponents, led by Senator Eduardo Girão (Novo-CE), managed to delay the matter with points of order and last-minute amendments. According to the text’s detractors, it would open the way to the freedom of ‘virtual casinos without supervision’. Parliamentarians in favor of the proposal, however, pointed out that the measure does not create new types of gambling, but merely regulates a 2018 law (Law 13,756) and guarantees the government revenues from games already in operation.
Bill 2.234/22, which legalizes casino activities in tourist resorts, as well as hotels and river resorts, besides allowing gambling and bingo, will be discussed by the Senate CCJ this week. The rapporteur is Senator Irajá (PSD-TO), who issued a report favorable to the approval of the bill, rejecting only four amendments to the text.